One aspect of technology that is often overlooked when discussing the more flashy topics such as processing speeds, storage capacity and various others is power consumption. According ZDNet, it costs just under $750 per year to power a server in the USA. To consider how much power that is, my townhouse has a electricity bill of about $150 per month which means that 5 months of my electricity bills powers one server for one year! That may not seem like a great deal because after all, I am one person and a company should be able to handle that. Most companies have many servers and that cost just gets multiplied, as does the power consumption.
Now, consider cloud data centres or crypto mining operations, as seen above. There is growing concern over the level of power consumption and the carbon footprint of these server farms. Elon Musk weighed in, by tweet, on this issue saying Tesla would no longer support Bitcoin due to the carbon footprint of mining which sent prices tumbling. This was after a few months prior sending them skyrocketing with the news of Tesla buying Bitcoin as part of its cash reserve portfolio and supporting payments using crypto.
What is the solution to the mammoth and ever growing power needs when green energy is not yet mainstream enough to carry that weight?
Fervo is a company who is generating carbon free energy 24/7, 365 days per year by harnessing heat generated by the Earth to power turbines which generate electricity. This is not a new concept. Google has teamed up with Fervo as part of their fulfillment of their goal to power their entire operation with carbon free energy sources by 2030. Further, Google will be working with Fervo by using AI and machine learning to enhance their already revolutionary approach which uses advanced drilling, fiber-optic sensing, and analytics techniques.
El Salvador has recently announced that it will be using its state run Geothermal energy company to power Bitcoin mining. Iceland, another location with an abundance of geothermal energy is also becoming a hot spot for Bitcoin mining. According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, worldwide Bitcoin consumption per year is more than the entire country of the Philippines.
There is definitely a business case for using Geothermal energy to power data centres and beyond. The initial investment required to identify the correct locations and construct the energy stations is the most challenging part about this energy source. The technology exists already to ensure that environmental impact is negligible. Once up and running, Geothermal can compete at the same price point of coal.
The cloud is only getting bigger whether it is the public cloud or private ones. Also, the crypto cat is very likely out of the bag and it is our opinion that this will only grow as well. The backbone of crypto is the blockchain, a peer-to-peer server network. Applications of blockchain technology extend well beyond crypto and innovative usages are coming out more frequently. But that is another blog topic entirely!
This is all to say that our power consumption is only going up and seeing creative applications of green energy, such as Geothermal, is encouraging.
TMH Solutions is a cloud solutions company that specializes in Data Management, Business Intelligence Reporting, Data Visualization, Application Modernization and Managed Applications. We would love to discuss your company's vision and help make it future ready! Please reach out to us at email@example.com.