back to article Google shakes up US utility with green power tariff

Google is using its giant pile of money to try and change how utility companies work, so that more businesses can buy their power from renewable sources. As part of a $600m expansion of its North Carolina data center, Google's local utility provider Duke Energy has pledged to develop a renewable energy tariff for Google and …

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Anonymous Coward

So what prevents Google from load balancing to power budget???

So what prevents Google from load balancing to power budget???

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WTF?

Re: So what prevents Google from load balancing to power budget???

Wat.

If that question made the least amount of sense, perhaps someone could answer it.

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Irk
Holmes

Re: So what prevents Google from load balancing to power budget???

Translation:

"What prevents Google from implementing load balancing to balance out their peak uses of energy and make the most use of renewables?"

At least, I think that's what was meant. And I don't know the answer if it is what was meant.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So what prevents Google from load balancing to power budget???

There is active research on this. It's not a simple problem. See for example http://geographicalloadbalancing.github.io/surfReport.pdf

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Re: So what prevents Google from load balancing to power budget???

They do - they even use passively cooled data centers and switch loads to where it's colder.

So rather than turn up the AC in North Carolina in summer, you switch the load to Maine

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Farm it out

Rather than built their own the way Apple did, Google is holding true to their progressive left centralized socialistic origins by demanding The Government do it for them.

At least they are being true to themselves. But the problem is that they are trying to foist their philosophy on others. Ethanol comes to mind as another faulty concept foisted on the world. Supposed to be "green" but is worse than doing nothing.

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Re: Farm it out

How are they demanding the government do it for them? They basically prodded Duke Energy, which while government regulated, is a private company. If Duke really didn't want to do it, they were under no obligation to do so. But doing so they benefit from the positive publicity that Google is getting on this, and that Apple got for doing all the power generation on site (using solar panels and waste gas from a nearby landfill using Bloom fuel cells)

Actually Apple's plans probably required more government cooperation than Google's, because they had to deal with whoever operates the landfill (assuming it isn't privately owned)

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WTF?

Re: Farm it out

What would be the capitalistic way of doing this?

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Happy

Re: Farm it out

"Rather than built their own the way Apple did, Google is holding true to their progressive left centralized socialistic origins by demanding The Government do it for them."

Duke Energy is owned by the US Govt?

I did not know this.

Oddly I was under the impression that the US govt did not own any energy providers.

Something about it not being within the remit of govt to do this IIRC.

Always amused to hear an American talk about socialism as if you knew what the word meant.

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Alien

Dude, the US has plenty of government-owned power

JS - You should visit America! The big mid-20th century multi-state hydropower projects of the West were federally-funded and are still federally owned. They are run by separate administrations (e.g. the Bonneville Power Administration in the Pacific NW), but are part of the federal government.

The TVA is another big government-owned power company, in the Appalachians.

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Re: Farm it out

"Always amused to hear an American talk about socialism as if you knew what the word meant."

Indeed, As soon as you read 'socialist' used as an attempted insult, you know you are listening to a fox news laccy right wing nut.

+1 for you

-1 for "you are all commies" wingnut

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Re: Farm it out

As an American I agree with you . When ever I hear my fellow countrymen talks bad about socialism I ask them to define what socialism is. For some reason I never get an answer.

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Re: Farm it out

> I ask them to define what socialism is.

Socialism is not having a choice of which fire department come when you dial 911 - and not having a choice of 911

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If the EPA could report on 2006 usage in a 2007 document

why do you only have old, out of date predictions for 2011 power usage in Data Centers?

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Big Brother

Re: If the EPA could report on 2006 usage in a 2007 document

Because the EPA hasn't (to my knowledge) done a subsequent report on data centers. (The 2011 figure comes from the 2007 EPA report.) Other organizations have produced other reports since, but either the methodology has been wobbly, the dataset has been meager, or the report has been done at the behest of a vendor with an apparent bias toward data centers. Big brother because EPA is big gub'ment.

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Waste of Energy

If Greenpeace and Google were really serious about going green then all these two groups have to look at is all the wasted heat that is generated every day and escaping into the air at factories that either burn fuel to operate or factories that produce energy. Flaring off is a good example as are plants such as they have in Canada that produce steam to force Bitumen to the surface in Alberta. Coal fired plants release vast amounts of energy (waste) in the air.

That wasted heat could and the technology is here today to produce more power from the waste that is escaping.

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Boffin

Re: Waste of Energy

That isn't how thermodynamics works. Modern coal plants get almost as close to the carnot efficiency as our metallurgical limits allow us to get.

"Heat" is energy, it's true, but to be useful it has to be at a temperature sufficiently above the ambient. Once the temperature of the exhaust gases are close enough to ambient, the efficiency with which work can be extracted becomes so low that the returns of adding additional steps to try to capture it become prohibitively expensive. Coal is expensive enough to make that point very late in the game, but pretty much the only thing you can do with the remaining waste heat from a coal plant is heat an apartment building... and who wants to live that close to a coal-fired power plant?

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PT

Re: Waste of Energy

What's really a waste of energy is a modern technology company thinking it can do anything to impress the Greens. Maybe if they powered the data centers with pedal driven generators, or replaced them with fields of organic vegetables, that might work.

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The next question...

What type of power does Greenpeace use? Is it green power??

So, where are Greenpeace's web servers located, and how much does the energy cost to supply them? Eh?

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Re: The next question...

Greenpeace UK use Rackspace who have a fairly extensive green energy policy.

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Happy

Geothermal all the way.

On site, single bore (with down hole heat exchanger) high density (0.5-1.0 MW per bore) and life expectancy of several million years.

Obviously that last one might be a bit of concern to Google.

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Re: Geothermal all the way.

And terrible issues with corrosion and mineral deposits.

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Re: Geothermal all the way.

mots geothermal plants runs out f steam after 10-20 years as the surrounding rock has had all its heat taken out by then.

Unless you have an active volcanic region underneath, geothermal ain't renewable.

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Coat

> the search giant made $3.55bn in net income

Seeing how the greentrain is already pushed by "The Man", this means that Google *already* contributed heavily to greenery in the form of taxes.

Green logo because green.

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>> the search giant made $3.55bn in net income

But paid 27cents in taxes.

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Aluminum and Heavy Water

Why can't they just locate their facilities in places like Norway or Colorado or Ontario where the power comes from hydroelectricity? That way, it would be cheaper as well as environmentally virtuous - or at least carbon-free.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Aluminum and Heavy Water

Many of the datacenters are in places like Oregon with lots of hydropower (not that hydro power is all that green mind you, aside from the carbon output). But they need to have datacenters near where people live, and not everyone lives in Oregon.

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Re: Aluminum and Heavy Water

If only there was a way of transmitting information at almost the speed of light through some system of tubes.

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FAIL

Saving the world? My arse.

It's already been done here in Australia by the Greens political party, to push (force) increased utilisation of "green" power sources.

It increases use of otherwise unattractive (expensive) green power sources, at the "very minor" consequence of raising **EVERYONE'S** power bills two-three fold, all the while completely forgetting to mention that said green sources cannot possibly replace existing baseline coal/gas supplies, which will continue to take the brunt of the load.

Saving the world? My arse.

The only thing they're interested in saving is their financial bottom line.

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Re: Saving the world? My arse.

It's great here in BC.

We sell local hydro electricity to California as super expensive premium green-power and make up the local demand from oil plants in Alberta

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Re: Saving the world? My arse.

http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3169

Seems to have only gone up by 10% due to the carbon tax.

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Re: Seems to have only gone up by 10%

10% for a 0.1% increase in production? Sounds damned expensive to me.

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Happy

Re: Saving the world? My arse.

"We sell local hydro electricity to California as super expensive premium green-power and make up the local demand from oil plants in Alberta"

And this is apart from the interesting weeds growing in the BC woods.

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FAIL

"...increase in demand that drives down prices"?

Doesn't an "Increase in Supply" drive down prices?

This line of thinking is bankrupting us.

Just Sayin'

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