Google’s New Carbon-Intelligent Computing Platform

In Innovations, Clean Talk, Environment, News, Renewable Energy, Sustainability, Technology

Google has been carbon neutral since 2007, and 2019 marks the third year in a row when they ahve matched  energy usage with 100 percent renewable energy purchases. To achieve 24×7 carbon-free energy, their data centers need to work more closely with carbon-free energy sources like solar and wind.

Keeping this mind Google has launched a “carbon-intelligent computing platform,” that is designed to shift the electricity demands of its largest data centers to match clean energy supply. This technology schedules non-urgent computing tasks to correspond with when renewables are plentiful.

Using renewable forecasting data from Danish startup Tomorrow, a the data center would plan computing tasks that are somewhat flexible — such as creating new filters for Google Photos or processing YouTube videos — for when renewables are plentiful and cheap.

Meanwhile, the services people want on demand — such as accessing Maps, watching YouTube videos and generating search results — would continue to be powered around the clock.

Data centers are energy hogs, using about 3 percent of all electricity in the United States, with energy traffic growing every year.

They’re expected to be one of the major sources of growth in demand for electricity in the coming decade (according to Schneider Electric).

Data centers’ energy demands have a rather consistent baseload. They need to run all day and night, with relatively little fluctuation when compared to residential or commercial electricity consumption.

By bifurcating out non-urgent computing activities, Google’s new platform is looking at data centers’ ability to be flexible in an innovative way — If successful, Google’s new software will shift its own computing loads to better match its low-carbon electricity supply.


Reference- GreenBiz, Futurism, Google Blog

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