Internet it does not create waste, but it pollutes anyway. Every two years the digital universe doubles, in 2011 the amount of information reached 1.8 billion gigabytes. Much of the digital information is found in data centers around the world, and running such centers requires an enormous amount of electric energy.
A data center with a power of about 10 megawatts and can use the energy of a small city at a cost of about $ 300,000 per month. Worldwide there are about 500,000 data centers and, as reported by the estimates made by theEmerson Network Power, the internet uses 2% of the energy used globally to function. So, if we assume that global electricity consumption amounts to 20.3 petawatt hours per year, the internet will consume about 406 terawatts of electric energy per year. Not to mention the electricity that users use to surf the internet!
Sometimes it happens to receive emails with a caption that says more or less:
"No trees were cut down for sending this email but a large number of electrons were terribly excited about its delivery!". A disconcerting truth when you consider the environmental impact of email. But we will certainly never find a slogan that reads "Use card! Save an electron!“.
The paradox of Internet is that in traditional data centers, only half of the energy consumed is useful for running the digital universe. This means that while a large amount of energy is feeding the server which contain our emails, profiles of social network, web pages and the like, the other half of the energy is used to cool the server.
Often it is the electricity itself that generates heat when passing from alternating current AC to direct current DC. Some data centers use underground tanks to cool their servers and improve theenergy efficiency. Other data centers do better and use clean energy to offer sustainable web services.