That’s approximately the amount of power required to keep Google’s data centers running. As this NYT piece mentions, all those searches, Gmail accounts, YouTube videos and tons of other services continually absorb 260 million watts, or about a quarter of the output of one nuclear power plant.
There are two important things to note from this disclosure. First, it’s the most complete picture yet of Google’s energy requirements for the once-secretive company. Lately though, Google seems to be embracing a little more openness. For instance, two years ago it clued outsiders in to its unique take on server hardware. And now this.
The Floodgates open
Secondly, it’s just a one reveal in what’s developing into a goldmine for information on data center energy usage. And this information stands to become invaluable guidance for other companies that are betting big on the cloud.
By its estimates, Google’s data centers consume 50 percent less energy than the typical data center. Impressive, but more compelling is how the company managed the feat. This is explored on a site Google devoted to the cause, which details how measures like free cooling, specialty Google servers and temperature management play a role.
And any discussion about data center energy merits a look at where it comes from and its impact on emissions. Luckily, Google shares information on its renewable energy strategy. This includes the video below that explains the steps the company takes when it can’t produce enough of its own green power.
All these juicy insights, data points and more can be found in Google’s new green site.