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back to article Google charms Greenpeace with wind powered data center deal

Google has signed a contract to obtain 48 megawatts of wind energy from the Canadian Hills Wind Project in Oklahoma to power its data center in that state. This is the first time Google has actually bought wind power from a utility, in this case the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA), rather than direct from a wind farm itself. It …

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Happy

Exponential growth means Microsoft will be buying counterfit offset certificates

Say data use grows by 2.6x in two years and equipment becomes 1.6x more efficient then after two years 50Mwatts becomes 80MW after four years becomes 130M, 210, 340, 550MW after ten years. By then the wind potential of the county could be all used up. But there will be more green energy.

Using MSs approach paper credits will rise in price and the market for credits will boom i.e. rise much faster than linearly. Unless MS services achieve monopoly in ten years its energy costs will put it out of business. Look for MS to take a longer, more googly, approach soon.

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60% efficiency gain in two years?

Sounds rather optimistic to me --

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Happy

So when your Google searches run slow

you'll know where to lay the blame -- presumably the CPU speed will scale with the wind, which sounds vaguely like a John Denver song, now I think about it.

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Greenpeace

I wanted to write a detailed elucidation of my feelings towards Greenpeace and how they drifted over the years to become the radical organization they are now. How what started as a well-intentioned quest to stand up for our environment turned into corporate blackmail and media whoring. But you know what, I just don't care anymore. I'll say simply this: FUCK GREENPEACE.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Greenpeace

I imagine Google did all this because they wanted to, not because of anything to do with Greenpeace; I would hope Google give about as much of a rats ass about what Greenpeace thinks as the rest of us do.

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HMB
Thumb Up

Re: Greenpeace

Shale gas is a viable compromise to shift coal burning power generation to gas, therefore substantially reducing carbon emissions, but Greenpeace doesn't want it.

Nuclear power offers a more expensive but affordable source of energy, way more viable than solar and wind, that could supply us all with carbon free energy, but Greenpeace doesn't want it.

Cheap energy is needed to drive the economy and to bring people out of poverty, to make a real difference to people's lives all over the world, but Greenpeace doesn't want it.

I care about sustainability, I care about this planet's environment and I care about the people on this planet.

I'll happily join you solidsoup. "F*** GREENPEACE!"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Greenpeace

Yep agreed. I only support the Sea Shepherd organisation who actually do something useful, Greenpeace meanwhile dont even like them and sit back "monitoring" a total waste of space.

Citation -> See Whale Wars

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Greenpeace

"Shale gas is a viable compromise to shift coal burning power generation to gas"

It might be viable, but would you want to live next to an operation that is linked to a substantial increase in seismic activity? I wouldn't.

But yes, as for the lefty Greepneace my-way-or-the-highway types, they can go get fracked.

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HMB

Re: Greenpeace

"It might be viable, but would you want to live next to an operation that is linked to a substantial increase in seismic activity? I wouldn't."

It really, really needs to be emphasised that the moment magnitude scale and the richter scale are both logarithmic, exponential. The largest I've heard from fracking (which is very rare) was a 2.3. We're talking about piss tiny stuff for the masses of wealth this trapped gas emits.

When I put it like that I wouldn't be surprised if my trapped gas has caused greater seismic tremmors.

Fracturing rock deep underground... it doesn't surprise me it can occasionally cause a tiny tremor above, but that's all there's ever been at the worst of it and I really don't see that as a good reason not to.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Greenpeace

"The largest I've heard from fracking (which is very rare) was a 2.3. We're talking about piss tiny stuff for the masses of wealth this trapped gas emits."

I can't find the reference right now but I have a link somewhere of a USGS article that links fracking to a 5.3 and a 5.1. If I dig it up, I'll post it. But I can find an awful lot of references to both fracking and it's links to seismic activity, so to say it's rare may be a bit conservative.

"When I put it like that I wouldn't be surprised if my trapped gas has caused greater seismic tremmors."

I suppose with all that guff you're spouting your gas may have a greater impact than global CO2 emissions as well.

"I really don't see that as a good reason not to."

I believe the science is still being debated. Better safe than sorry I reckon (which is a good enough reason to look deeper at this first imo).

Personally I think we need to get shot of this ******* stupid addiction to oil and gas - sooner rather than later.

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Silver badge
Trollface

The Opening Night

Was going really well until the waiters brought out the whale sashimi h'orderves ....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Opening Night

Hors d'oeuvres, but yes. I imagine that was been amusing.

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Anonymous Coward

Do they get to nominate which fossil-fuel or nuke stations act as baseload backup for when the wind drops?

Thus making it necessary to have more fossil fuel or nuke station capacity to cope with semi-random baseload demand variations.

Plus, I assume the wind generating place has no GIGANTIC SUBSIDIES or laws to artificially inflate the price for competing electricity supplies to force demand, or anything? Surely not!

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WTF?

They are buying it from a hydro company

Hydro makes excellent backup for wind. Fill up the dam with wind electricity when wind is plentiful. Generate electricity by letting water out of the dam when there is demand.

As to energy subsidies, unless you live in a parrallel universe such as proposed by Fox News where CO2 emissions don't result in weird weather, haven't you noticed how buildings insurance against unusual drought, storm and flood events has increased recently ? That kind of subsidy is called an 'externality' but its a subsidy regardless.

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@AC 06.57

"Plus, I assume the wind generating place has no GIGANTIC SUBSIDIES or laws to artificially inflate the price for competing electricity supplies to force demand, or anything? Surely not!"

AFAICS the main subsidy for wind power is in tax breaks, similar to that available to all businesses, although a few states have feed-in-tariffs, e.g. Vermont, Florida and Hawaii or are trailing them. I'm not too familiar with that so perhaps some of the US readership could supply some details.

However, as far as costs to the community are concerned, perhaps you might like to look at the estimated per annum costs of, say, coal in the US including externalities.

Wind in general doesn't really make sense as a baseload production technique, but it can have it's uses - especially in somewhere as renowned for it's wind as Oklahoma. Without seeing a lot more detail, i'm not sure whether this makes sense environmentally or economically (although Google seem happy paying a premium rate for it, the knock-on of which is unlikely to be onerous on most of us) - but then again i'm not going to just reject it out of hand without data and spout some perceived issues under an AC banner either. Have the courage of your commitments or shut-up I say.

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