Greenpeace has published a new report urging technology firms such as Google and Facebook to use renewable energy sources to power their datacentres.
The environment body said in the Make IT Green report (PDF) that the use of services hosted in the cloud is becoming increasingly popular, and that companies providing these services need to phase out the use of "dirty" sources of energy such as coal, and look to cleaner, renewable energy sources.
"The potential of ICT technologies and cloud computing to drive low-carbon economic growth underscores the importance of building cloud infrastructure in places powered by clean renewable energy," Greenpeace said.
The group also believes that large firms should use their power and economic importance to help drive the green agenda.
"Companies like Facebook, Google and other large players in the cloud computing market must advocate for policy change at the local, national and international levels to ensure that, as their appetite for energy increases, so does the supply of renewable energy," the report said.
Greenpeace also published figures on several major companies' datacentre energy consumption, highlighting Apple's North Carolina facility which uses just 3.8 per cent of renewable energy compared with 50.75 per cent coal and 38.7 nuclear.
Microsoft's Texas datacentre uses just 11 per cent renewable energy, Greenpeace said, and its Chicago datacentre uses just 1.1 per cent.
Google's Dallas datacentre, meanwhile, uses 50.9 per cent of its power from renewable energies, while Yahoo's New York facility uses 27.7 per cent.
However, the two firms' other datacentres use only 3.8 and seven per cent renewable energy sources respectively.
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