Like This: Facebook Friending More Renewable Energy

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After a 20-month campaign by Greenpeace, online social networking giant Facebook has agreed to begin to "unfriend" coal-fired power and make the switch to renewable energy at all new data centers.
  
Over 700,000 people joined the Greenpeace campaign to "poke" Facebook into action, urging the company to join the fight against climate change by powering its massive server farms with 100% renewable energy. 
  
These data centers store the billions of messages, videos and pictures which make up the high-tech information cloud Facebook users access each day.
 
According to Greenpeace, the amount of energy used to power the data centers of companies such as Facebook, Apple, IBM, Microsoft, and Twitter, currently totals 2 percent of the USA’s overall energy consumption and is predicted to grow by 12 percent each year.
 
Greenpeace says these servers are often located in facilities in areas heavily reliant on coal fired power stations for electricity, one of the filthiest sources of energy and largest single source of greenhouse gas pollution in the world.
   
"If the cloud was a country, it would be the 5th largest in terms of electricity use, worldwide. Greenpeace will continue to measure, report and campaign on the sector’s progress to green the cloud," Greenpeace states in a release.
  
"Greenpeace and Facebook will now work together to encourage major energy producers to move away from coal and instead invest in renewable energy. This move sets an example for the industry to follow," says Tzeporah Berman, Co-director of Greenpeace’s Climate and Energy Program.
  
Although coal will remain a power source for the time being, Facebook announced a goal to power all of its operations with clean and renewable energy by siting all future data centres near renewable generation facilities. 
   
The company will continue research into clean energy solutions and energy efficiency and the open sharing of that technology through the Open Compute Project – a free and open foundation aimed at driving down the cost of computer hardware technology through energy efficiency. Using leadership through this project Facebook hopes to encourage other major IT companies to follow suit. 
   
Read the joint statement from Facebook and Greenpeace here.
 
Facebook also recently announced its new Menlo Park facility in California will have a solar cogeneration array installed on the roof of the campus fitness center.