Cloud Computing - Is it Bad for the Environment?
Study finds that carbon emissions could increase due to expanding use of cloud computing
Greenpeace has issued a new report warning that carbon emissions could increase due to expanding usage of cloud computing. The report, entitled "Make IT Green: Cloud Computing and its Contribution to Climate Change," attempts to track streams of data back to the data centers to measure the impact of cloud computing.
The report contends that because they offer users access to computationally intensive applications such as video streaming and social networks, devices like the Apple iPad, which access the cloud for data, may contribute to a carbon footprint much bigger than previously estimated.
Research company Gartner has also estimated that cloud computing is going to be as influential as E-business and will continue to evolve over the next few decades as companies move their applications and processes over to the new methodology.
Although cloud computing is centralized and can provide cost savings, analysts are concluding that the net effect in the immediate future will be an increase in carbon emissions from data center growth, with a decrease of up to 20% occurring around 2020. To reduce emission producing energy consumption, the large internet companies are seeking ways to incorporate renewable energy technologies into cloud computing.