AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform to be 100% Renewable Powered

Joel Spira | Tue, 25 Oct 2016

As Developers and DevOps professionals we spend a typical workday constructing elegant solutions to problems with code and, if you ask me, I get a serious buzz out of the idea that we all create value from what is just well thought-out permutations and combinations of the letters a-z, numbers 0-9 and other characters/operators $, #, % etc. We belong to a unique community where there is no raw material prerequisite to conduct business. We are builders of our modern ecosystem - The Internet - and we are equipped with language rather than bricks and mortar. I get such a rush from contemplating a future where the internet’s infrastructure is a true all-enveloping ecosystem, 100% powered from renewable energy sources.

Renewable Energy And The Cloud

Fortunately, this vision is shared by leaders of the public cloud with AWS, Microsoft & Google demonstrating real, tangible recognition of infrastructure as an ecosystem, with wind & solar farming spreading in parallel with the rapid growth in availability zones across the globe.

AWS Wind Farms

The newly announced AWS East (Ohio) Region was built in tandem with the Amazon Wind Farm US Central, a 100 Megawatt wind power project with the capacity to power 29,000 US homes annually. This project joins the 208 megawatt Amazon Wind Farm US East in North Carolina, the 150 megawatt Amazon Wind Farm Fowler Ridge and the 80 megawatt Amazon Solar Farm US East in Virginia. AWS’ end of 2016 target is to have its global infrastructure 40% reliant on renewable energy. This is an optimistic target, but is in line with the aspirations of AWS’ competitors, and would set a good example for big businesses globally..

Microsoft and Renewable Energy

Microsoft Azure data centers are reportedly 44% powered by wind, solar & hydro sources, with commitments to 50% by end of 2018 and 60% by early next decade.

Google and Renewable Energy

Google’s Cloud Platform with its own energy efficiency efforts, renewable power purchasing, and carbon offset procurement have a net carbon emissions of zero.

While the Greenpeace report ‘Clicking Clean’ gave further insight to the green commitments of many cloud contributing businesses, I found that it failed to measure commitments or outcomes adjusted in terms of % responsibility for total Internet.

Whilst documents and white papers are helpful for summary, I believe it is most effective to point communities towards real actionable levers, so check out GorillaStack to help save unnecessary energy expenditure. Do your part and automate on/off periods for your EC2 instances and cut wastage. Reduce your footprint, and as a nice fringe benefit save up to 60% on your AWS bill!

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