Internet – growing to surpass television – should be powered with clean energy
by David Pomerantz
August 5, 2013
© Peter Soerensen / Greenpeace
A new study shows that U.S. adults spend more time with digital media now than they do watching television.
This is only the latest research that shows the phenomenal rate at which Internet usage is growing, here in the US and around the world.
So, what does all this Internet growth mean for the environment? Thats still an open question, but the stakes are high: If the Internet were a country, it would rank fifth in the world for the amount of electricity it needs, and its hunger for power is only going up as more people go online.
That electricity demand doesnt need to be a bad thing. If the companies that control the infrastructure behind the Internet choose to power their networks with clean energy from the wind and sun, then Internet growth could be the engine that drives clean energy growth in the 21st century. And just as the Internet has totally disrupted how we consume entertainment, communicate, and find new information, clean energy can totally disrupt the older, dirtier ways that weve powered our lives and provide a solution to the climate crisis.
Some companies, like Apple, Facebook and Google are already taking the lead on powering the Internet with clean energy, while others, like Amazon, are bringing up the rear by continuing to use dirty coal-fired energy.
We make the Internet. We should get to choose to power it with clean energy. Tell Internet companies you want a clean, green Internet.