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Google Details, and Defends, Its Use of Electricity

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NYTimes: For the first time ever, Google has released details about the about of electricity consumed by its data centers. Those facilities continuously draw 260 million watts of power--enough to power 200,000 homes, or about one-quarter of the output of a nuclear power plant. The company estimated its 2010 carbon footprint at 1.5 million metric tons.

Google says that although its power consumption seems like a lot, the company's services actually help make the world greener when you consider the power saved by conducting a Google search versus driving to the library to look something up. Also, when you spread Google's electricity use out among all of its users, it's an average of 180 watt-hours a month, or the equivalent of running a 60-watt light bulb for three hours.

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