Chances are you’ve been using the cloud today, even if you didn’t know it. Yet did you ever stop to wonder how the electricity needed to power the cloud was generated?
Probably, like me, you hadn’t. But then I came across a Greenpeace campaign that wants to persuade three of the biggest providers of cloud-based services to move away from coal-fired power stations and switch to renewable power sources. You see, according to Greenpeace, the coal-fired plants that power these giant data centres are one of the world’s top sources of airborne carcinogens and greenhouse gases. Having encouraged Facebook to create a data centre policy that “states a preference for access to clean and renewable energy supply,” the environmental campaigner has Amazon, Apple and Microsoft in its sights.