Imagine if every time you flushed your toilet, half of the “clean” water leaked on the floor. How long would it take you to replace the toilet? Probably not long. Well, did you know the average desktop computer wastes over half the power delivered to it? Servers are better, but still lose about one-third of the power consumed.
Now imagine if you are running the world’s ultimate answer machine, Google. Google now has more than 450,000 servers spread in at least 25 locations around the world. I have discussed the tremendous energy use of Google before (See Previous Post). One large data center can consume enough juice to power a small city of 30,000 to 40,000 people.
As a certified Google fan-boy, I read with interest Google’s announcement yesterday of a a new strategic initiative to to develop electricity from renewable energy sources that will be cheaper than electricity produced from coal. They will focus initially on advanced solar thermal power, wind power technologies, enhanced geothermal systems and other potential breakthrough technologies. Google is hiring hundreds of engineers and energy experts to lead its research and development work.
-Sergey Brin, Google Co-founder