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AI is exploding data center energy use. A Google-created technique may help

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Bloomberg or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: As artificial intelligence (AI) amplifies the energy consumption of data centers, a Google-initiated strategy aims to mitigate the environmental impact by leveraging software to locate and utilize clean electricity globally
• This approach seeks to shift data center operations to regions abundant in renewable energy sources, potentially reducing both carbon emissions and operational costs

🔭 The context: The exponential growth of AI is significantly increasing the energy demand of data centers, which already contribute notably to global energy consumption and carbon emissions
• With data centers and their networks accounting for a considerable carbon footprint, the tech industry is under pressure to find sustainable solutions
• Google's technique of load shifting represents a pioneering effort to align data center operations with the availability of renewable energy, thereby decarbonizing their power usage

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The adoption of this strategy by major data center operators can lead to a substantial reduction in the tech sector's carbon emissions, moving closer to achieving climate goals
• By optimizing the timing and location of data processing to coincide with renewable energy production, this method offers a path toward more sustainable and responsible AI development and data management

⏭️ What's next: The challenge remains in fully realizing 24/7 carbon-free operations across global data centers, especially in the face of data sovereignty laws and the inherent complexities of international energy grids
• However, initiatives like those by Google and Cirrus Nexus illustrate a critical step forward in leveraging technology to combat climate change, with potential for widespread adoption across industries

💬 One quote: "There’s an urgent need to figure out how to run data centers in ways that maximize renewable energy usage," (Chris Noble, co-founder and CEO of Cirrus Nexus)

📈 One stat: Data centers and transmission networks each account for up to 1.5% of global consumption, emitting as much carbon dioxide annually as Brazil

Click for more news covering the latest on environmental sustainability

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