How Much Energy Does the Internet Use?

Recent research from WordStream has shed some light on the amount of energy it requires to run the Internet, which revealed both the helpful and harmful impact of digital technology on the environment. While more than 250,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2) are produced annually to power Google searches, the ability that the Internet provides for telecommuting could reduce carbon emissions by up to millions of metric tons each year. To understand how the Internet is affecting the preservation of our planet, reported on the following findings.

The WordStream research brought up issues of ecological concern, such as the fact that the 62 trillion emails sent annually produce as much CO2 as 1.6 million cars driving around the planet.

On their Google Green website, Google challenged these findings with much less severe statistics which showed that conducting 100 online searches only used the small amount of energy required to power a 60-watt light for 28 minutes. They asserted that powering Google products for an entire month required less energy per user than keeping a light on for three hours. Google also examined the carbon dioxide emissions of its popular online services, YouTube and Gmail. Their findings revealed that each Gmail user generated only 1.2 kilograms of CO2 each year, while streaming YouTube for one minute produced just 0.1 grams of CO2.

Google wants to eventually power the entire company with renewable energy and already uses nearly 30 percent to power operations. This ecological evolution has called for investments of more than $915 million.

Now, the issue of cloud computing is raising questions among the eco-conscious community. As a result, digital experts expect to see stronger green efforts from search engines, social media platforms, and similar sites that use servers to power activities on the Internet.

At MDG, our 360° marketing approach uses just the right mix of traditional and online media to reach your marketing goals. While some industries may fare better on TV and others online, we strive to create a balanced approach where digital and traditional marketing efforts support each other and your message is tailored to the medium.