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Hong Kong datacenters lack renewable energy options

Joe Locandro, director, Group Information Innovation, CLP, said Hong Kong is limited by its geographical location and the lack of space in renewable energy development. "Wind farms and solar farms require lots of space," said Locandro. "To boot, renewable energy should be [considered] part of the overall datacenter-power mix as wind, water, and sunshine are never as stable as we desire." CLP is piloting an off-shore wind farm 10km off Sai Kung, he said.

The Greenpeace report

Apple is one of several global tech firms given poor marks for its heavy use of coal in powering datacenters in the Greenpeace report.

Despite its denial of the Greenpeace claim, Apple announced in May that it will power its North Carolina datacenter utterly by renewable energy sources by end-2012. This took place afterwards Greenpeace infiltrated Apple's Cupertino campus and projected messages from Twitter and Facebook users who are dismayed at Apple's use of coal at the datacenter that powers its iCloud sources.

Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said that Apple's plans have been in place since last year, and declined to comment on whether the changes were made following Greenpeace's protests.

According to Apple, its North Carolina datacenter will have 60% of its power produced onsite from renewable sources during the other 40% will be purchased from local and regional renewable sources. Just in case, Apple is building the largest non-utility fuel cell installation in the US, and the nation's largest private solar arrays, in order to provide renewable energy, the company added.

"Apple's announcement today is a great sign that the firm is taking in all seriousness the hundreds of thousands of its clients who have asked for an iCloud powered by clean energy, not dirty coal," said Greenpeace International senior IT analyst Gary Cook. "Apple's doubling of its solar capacity and investment in local renewable energy are key steps to creating a cleaner iCloud."

PUE, which measures how much power is as a matter of fact used by computing equipment opposite to cooling and other factors, has achieved broad adoption within the tech sector, and has value in helping datacenter operators benchmark design and performance of their facilities, Greenpeace pointed out.

More information: Idg
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