Google's electricity usage outstrips most countries'

According to this post by CMS Watch analyst Kas Thomas, Google is relatively green when it comes to its carbon footprint, but overall, its electricity usage is astounding. In fact, Google uses more electricity every year than almost two-thirds of the world's nations. No wonder it's been pushing the Obama administration to invest in alternative energy sources and smart grid technology.

Thomas says most, if not all, of Google's estimated three-dozen data centers worldwide draw power from hydroelectric or nuclear plants--not coal-driven generators--making Google's day-to-day operations relatively carbon neutral. But the search giant's electricity usage is another story:

We're talking huge amounts of electrical power. Some estimates put Google data center power usage at 50 megawatts per data center. At the end of a year, that's 432 million kilowatt-hours of energy used, per data center. For 36 data centers, we're talking a grand total of around 15 billion kWh per year. That's roughly twice the amount of electricity consumed by all U.S. government data centers put together [ref].

And not only that, the 15 billion kWh per year figure places Google No. 75 in the ">list of the top 215 electricity-consuming nations, well ahead of Nigeria (14.5), Ecuador (10.6), Qatar (9.1) and Iceland (8.6).

And you thought your electrical bill was high.

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