The world’s largest social media company Facebook said that they may place a growing number of its data centers at sites that have trouble-free access to renewable energy in order to generate a quarter of its electricity use from carbon-free sources by 2015.
Face book’s explains on its carbon footprint, which were posted on its website, come among calls by green groups for the IT and social media sectors to cut their use of coal-fired electricity as global demand skyrockets for online data.
“We’ve set a company goal to derive at least 25 percent of our energy mix from clean and renewable sources by 2015. We know this is going to be a stretch for us, and we’re still figuring out exactly what it will take to get there,” the company said.
It added that it would give a first choice to locations that have access to clean and renewable energy sources when deciding where to base electricity-hungry data centers.
By 2014 it will commission a data centre near the Arctic Circle in northern Sweden that will use 120 MW of hydropower, and the facility will use cold air funneled from outside in order to cool down servers. But the company acknowledged that until then, “our carbon footprint and energy mix may get worse before they get better”.
The social media company has 950 million users worldwide. It said that 23 percent of its electricity came from renewable last year; 27 percent from coal; 17 percent from natural gas, and 13 percent from nuclear. It added that the remaining 20 percent was “uncategorized”, meaning it has used electricity bought by utilities on the spot market from multiple sources.
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