Data Center Energy Consumption

by Briton Lee

Data centers in the United States are using an increasing amount of energy, needing 34 full power plants (capable of producing 500 megawatts of energy each) to power them all (Thibodeau 2014). In 2013, data centers used a total of 91 billion kilowatt-hours, and they are projected to hit 139 billion kilowatt-hours by 2020, a 53% increase (ibid). These data centers alone are contributing to an emission of 97 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, and account for over 2% of the energy used nationwide (Hamilton 2013, Fehrenbacher 2014). Continue reading