From Twittering to Facebook, from music downloads to streaming video, from email to e-books, the Internet is driving almost every part of our lives and as a result, the energy needed to run our data centre servers and communications infrastructure is increasing annually. In response, a number of cross-company consortiums, like the Green Grid, have been formed and with a symposium being held this week to discuss data centre efficiency, it seems only right to look at the increasing problems facing our over-worked servers.
Between 2000 and 2005, the energy consumed by such data centres doubled, both in the US and worldwide. As more and more people demand more from online media, then more power is needed to power the centres that keep the Internet and servers running. For the US in 2006, online data centres accounted for 1.5 percent of the entire country’s electricity use – equating to more than the entire state of Massachusetts.
The Qatar-Bahrain Friendship Causeway, a 40km long marine causeway featuring a 22km bridge and 18km embankments connecting the west coast of Qatar to the east coast of Bahrain, is scheduled to begin construction in 2010.
The $3 billion project was originally scheduled to begin last year in May 2008, however in a statement from Bahrain’s Works Minister Fahmi al-Jowder the new deadline was announced.
An under-construction super-luxurious hotel in Mecca has raised fears that the hajj which is meant to involve hardship, struggle and sacrifice will be cheapened and instead become the preserve of the super-rich
The pilgrimage to Mecca traditionally see Muslims travelling to the holy site, forgoing worldly possessions, thoughts and activities in order to focus on their faith. However the Makkah Clock Tower Royal Hotel, part of the seven tower Abraj Al-Bait Complex, will give those who can afford it creature comforts whilst they perform the fifth pillar of Islam.
Wind energy is the fastest developing renewable energy source in the US.
As of the end of this year’s second quarter, wind power in the United States had reached about 29,440MW of installed capacity, and in 2008 the nation surpassed Germany as the world’s largest producer of wind generated power. The US now even has the world’s largest wind farmin the shape of the Roscoe Wind Farm in Texas.
The EU has big plans for its renewable energy future, and much attention has thus far been directed towards wind generated power, with nations such as the UK and Germany leading the way in making the most of Europe’s wind potential. For this reason, the European Commission’s latest plan to reduce carbon emissions by pumping a huge slice of the 50 billion euros available for research and development into solar power, may raise a few eyebrows.
Power generated from solar panels and carbon capture-and-store technology are the two major components of the EU’s plans, as the commission tries to demonstrate how it is taking the necessary steps to meet ambitious carbon cutting targets. The plan, due to be released tomorrow, is a direct attempt to raise the EU’s profile before the UN summit meeting in Copenhagen in December on reaching a new global agreement to curb climate change.
Today sees the start of the UN Climate Change Conference, where diplomats from 192 nations take part in the best and perhaps last chance to protect the world from the disasters of global warming, in what has been dubbed the most “important climate change summit in history”.
But as the UN tries to cut the carbon emissions of every nations on the planet, what about the summit’s own carbon footprint?
With almost 20,000 delegates, activists and reporters expected to converge on the Danish capital some experts are forecasting the 12 day conference, and all the activity surrounding it, to produce 41,000 tonnes of “carbon dioxide equivalent” – roughly the same as what Morocco produced during the whole of 2006.