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Greenpeace fires data centre power warning

31 Mar 10

Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo and Facebook have been called upon to power their data centres with renewable energy sources.

Greenpeace says that the electricity that powers data centres comes from utility companies which use coal and it estimates that data centres will use 1,963 billion kilowatt hours of electricity by 2020, which it adds is more than the total power consumed by France, Germany, Canada and Brazil combined.

“Growth in the IT industry is leading to a fast growing carbon footprint," Tom Dowdall, Greenpeace Campaign Coordinator told BBC News.

Dowdall said that cloud computing is becoming more and more mainstream because of portable online devices, which means more data is being stored remotely and that firms are investing in larger data centres to cope with the demand.

Greenpeace will release a full report later this year.