The Cloud Isn't So Green After All

Greenpeace is calling out many of our favorite technology companies as polluters. Are they right?

Companies like Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft and others are relying heavily on dirty coal energy to power their data centers. Greenpeace believes that this is wrong, and the group is calling for these companies to utilize 100% renewable energy sources instead.

Greenpeace feels strongly about this too: “The last thing we need is for more cloud infrastructure to be built in places where it increases demand for dirty coal-fired power.”

Many technology companies tout their efforts as green, and Facebook, in particular, even went as far to claim that their new data center being built in Oregon would make use “energy efficient technologies.” However, coal, in Greenpeace’s eyes, is not energy efficient.

Now, it’s true that Facebook should have considered harnessing solar or wind power, or other alternatives. We surely wouldn’t mind seeing the Facebook data center lined with solar panels, right. So didn’t Facebook mention that they were going to take advantage of alternative sources of energy?

It raises many questions.

But, aside from nuclear power, what could these companies do, realistically? Facebook and other technology companies are not obligated to solve the world’s energy crisis (although they probably would do a better job than what many governments have accomplished). Sure, these companies should be role models in these area, but these companies also need to make money. If they are not investing in greener technologies, they must feel that it will not save them money in the scheme of things.

In the end, this sounds more like an issue that only politics and investments of billions could solve.

Good luck with that.

As Reported By Reuters

Written by James Mowery

James Mowery is a passionate technology journalist and entrepreneur who has written for various top-tier publications like Mashable and CMSWire. Follow him on Twitter: @JMowery.

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