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.