Facebook signs clean energy pact with Greenpeace

By RTCC staff

Rising power prices are increasing pressure on data centre owners to cut energy costs. (Source: The National Archives)

Facebook will locate its data centres with a preference for access to renewable power sources as the result of a pact with Greenpeace.

The company will also increase research into clean energy solutions for data centres, which it will share with other big tech firms through the Open Compute Project.

The two organisations will also work together to promote energy efficiency. The agreement comes after a Greenpeace campaign calling for ‘Facebook to unfriend coal’, which gathered the support of more than 700,000 people.

Energy use from data centres is growing as companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon store increasingly large volumes of data.

Google currently sources an estimated 30% of its electricity from renewable energy with plans to increase this to 35% in 2012. The company shelved its own renewable energy research project in November 2011.

In October, Facebook announced that it was building a new data centre in Sweden to take advantage of cheap hydropower and the cold air temperatures, allowing it to cool the hardware without using additional cooling units and fans.

Apple is also rumoured to be considering investing in a solar panel installation near its data centre in North Carolina.

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