Carbon emissions: Delaying large computing tasks can limit emissions


We could slash emissions from database backups or long machine-learning tasks by waiting to run them until renewable energy makes up the largest part of the energy mix



Technology



1 November 2021

Mandatory Credit: Photo by ALEX PLAVEVSKI/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (12559629l) A photo made with a drone shows wind power generators in Yancheng, Jiangsu province, China, 27 October 2021. SHFRP New Energy has produced the world's longest wind power glass fiber blade S90, and the domestic longest wind power blade S102. On 02 September 2021, the onshore blade S89, 89 meters long equipped with a new generation of electric wind power product platform units was successfully rolled off the assembly line. Production cuts, high coal prices, and the Chinese government's determination to cut emissions caused a severe power supply crunch. Amid economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the cost of thermal coal has almost doubled this year to the increased demand for industrial use of electricity. China wind power generator blades factory, Yancheng - 27 Oct 2021

Planning intensive computing for hours during which renewable energy is used limits carbon emissions

ALEX PLAVEVSKI/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Shifting large computing jobs to nights or weekends could reduce their associated carbon emissions by a third, according to researchers who say that flexibility is key to reducing the environmental impact of the data centres that power everything from banks to social media networks.

The International Energy Agency found that data centres consumed around 250 terrawatt hours of power in 2019, or about 1 per cent of global electricity use, and says this is expected to …



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