Facebook ‘Likes’ Green Energy; Unfriends Coal

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Facebook Data Centre

Facebook has sent a clear message to energy producers: start investing in renewable energy now, and cut your ties with coal and other fossil fuels.

What’s more, Facebook will be collaborating with Greenpeace to not only promote renewable energy, but to encourage energy producers to invest more in the development of renewable energy sources.

Facebook and Greenpeace are also working together to advance programs that will allow Facebook  users to save energy as well as energize their communities to make more green energy choices. It’s really amazing to see the opportunities that are available through social media for empowering and mobilizing people in the fight for renewable energy.

As of now, Facebook has put into effect a policy for giving preference to green energy sources for any future data centers – the sites that house their servers. While fossil fuels are still being used by Facebook at the moment, its value as an energy source has definitely depreciated.

We offer hearty congratulations to all the people who worked to make this happen. Now we ask that everyone get out and spread the word on the success of our Facebook campaign! Facebook also deserves credit for leading the way and throwing down the gauntlet to the rest of the internet companies out there; it’s time for them all to go green!

 

How did the Green Facebook come about?

It was back in February 2010 when the campaign began; Facebook had just announced plans for the construction of a new data center that would be running on coal-powered electricity.

Around the world, hundreds of thousands of people began to get involved; everyone from students to celebrities joined in with Greenpeace activists and volunteers; they demonstrated at every city where Facebook had an office. They demonstrated using humor, online petitions, song and dance – they even went so far as to fly an airship over the Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California.

In a stroke of genius, supporters of the campaign actually used Facebook itself to draw attention to the drive, by setting a Guinness world record for the most Facebook comments in a 24 hour period!

 

Why was it so important?

Internet data centers – the places that house the computers and servers that run the online properties and websites of the major IT companies like Facebook, Google, Apple, Twitter and others – use massive amounts of energy; in fact, it total more than 2% of the total US demand for electricity. And that power usage is expected to grow at a rate of 12% or more annually. The centers store all sorts of data – information, videos, images and so much more – in a cyberspace “cloud”, where it can be accessed in real time by anyone with an internet connection. If it were a country, the cloud would be 5th in electrical usage when compared to all other countries.

The electrical energy powering the data centers is powered from various sources; one of those sources is coal, known to be the single largest source of pollution contributing to climate change, and just generally one of the dirtiest energy sources known.

If all the major internet companies would pledge to move away from coal sourced power, it would make a statement that simply couldn’t be ignored by energy producers and their investors. Founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg has sent that message – which other internet leaders will join him?

It’s important that we be as energy efficient as possible. But if we plan on surviving on this planet, we need to make the switch to green energy.