The Internet: not so green after all. Steve Hargreaves reports for CNN Money:
The Internet uses more electricity in America than the auto industry uses to make cars and trucks.
Yet despite all the talk about the nation’s aging power grid, utility experts say they can easily handle the additional demand.
In a way, for energy producers, the huge increase in usage by companies like Google and Facebook is a godsend. Electricity demand from many industrial clients has dropped by up to 20% over the last few years, largely due to the recession and greater efficiency.
Tech sector growth “has helped make that decrease not so bad,” said Steve Rosenstock, an engineer at the Edison Electric Institute, the utility trade association.
The electricity needed to power and cool the millions of servers that make the Internet hum has grown by more than 10% a year for the last decade, Rosenstock said. It now accounts for about 2% of all the electricity consumed in the Untied States…