After years of playing such numbers extremely close to the vest, Google today released figures spelling out exactly how much electricity the company's massive computing resources consume. Its data centers continuously draw 260 million watts--roughly a quarter the output of a nuclear power plant, says the NYT--to keep services like Gmail, search, Google Ads, and YouTube up and running around the clock and around the globe.
How does that translate? Google also estimated that its total carbon emissions for 2010 were just below 1.5 million metric tons. Not all of Google's electricity comes from carbon resources--a quarter comes from renewable fuels like wind, thanks to some deals the company has made with utilities--but that's still some decent tonnage.
Still, Google argues that its consumption really isn't so bad. Its data centers carry out billions of operations--a billion searches per day alone--and many of those save fuel. Google searches save trips to the library or the travel agent, for instance, offsetting the power consumed by its processing farms. And when you break it down it's not so bad, considering the vast numbers of people using Google's services. The company said an average user consumes just 180-watt hours per month, which roughly equates to running a 60-watt light bulb for three hours.
And how does that power usage break down? Google apparently didn't detail every last watt, but it did say that search queries only burn 12.5 million of those 260 million watts. As for the other quarter billion, it's probably a pretty even split between Gchat and Rebecca Black.
For a soon to be nation state google does not use much power
260,000,000W? not bad Google! Consider what it would take/does take to have 0% down time..say for a home server or pc...then take that id make it international for services Gmail(w/unlimited space), Google Earth, Googlemaps, plus the other services Google offers...not bad, not bad at all.
If you convert this to larger units, you will find that is wouldn't even get you 1/6 of the way back to 1955.
I just used google to figure out what 260 million watts is in a normal term.
Serious numbers for a company that claims to do no harm. I assume that is the total energy to maintain the centers and not just the computing part.
Good news is they get a heck of a deal on that price per kilowatt/hr. Stiffs like me still pay 19 cents per kilowatt hour because I don't use enough.
google is more than a search engine. Its a way of life. It's the culmination of altavista+yahoo square a thousand. Bing will never comapre. Bing sucks for making you click too much,
Google you are my savior
I have a friend who works for google and he told me they are not even aloud to tell anyone outside of Google how big the buildings are they work in becuase other companies could figure out how many much PC they use, etc. These compaines make their own custom AC units and even their own custom server racks to save energy. They use so much energy, and try to save as much cash as possible on energy that its actually a trade secret between IP firms and other tech companies.
Well, let's look at it from a different angle. I just went onto Amazon, and found a kettle that claims to be energy efficient. 3000 watts, or 3 kilowatts, is what it uses. For a company that manages billions of user searches every day, hosting YouTube that has an astronomical amount of videos (and I could go on), being equal to ~87,000 people making a cup of tea is astonishing. That's barely over 0.1% of the population of the UK, so I would say it's a fair assumption to assume that Google's energy usage for WORLDWIDE FUNCTION is equal to (or possibly less than) Britain's tea making at any time.
That's their data usage in a human term, and that's pretty impressive.
that's alot of juice, but at this point what would we do without google, hopefully they are being as efficient as possible
260Mw....Coninuously! Were talking about constants, not megawatts per hour, or Mw per year. This is a VERY high number. To put it into scope:
I work at a power generating facility, at any given time we produce around 1400Mwh. Now they say the power we make in one minute could power the average american home for a year.
So; 1400Mwh/60(min)= 23.33MW-per min.= Avg power consumption for home yearly.
So google uses about the same amount of power as 11 houses use in 1 year, google uses this constantly.
Still pretty impressive for all thing that google does.
But not low by any means.
"In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before.".. Paul Dirac
<--- my pic says all !!! ^^
bored? lets go mine the stars... ^^
Google doesn't rely solely on the grid for power. They also use Bloom Energy Boxes, advanced solar thermal power, wind power technologies and enhanced geothermal systems.
If you've used 1 of google many services, you shouldn't be complaining. I bet you didn't have to pay for their services did you?
You may work there, but you don't bill people. 1400 MWh means an average of 1400 MW for an entire hour. They don't break that up by the minute. Now, if you were counting two hours, you would say you produced 2800 MWh, but it doesn't shrink down.
However, 1400 MW is a large plant. A typical household uses about 100 kWm, or 100 kW on average for a month. You are making 1400,000 kWm. So you are powering a lot of homes, that's for sure!
Suck away google suck away
While popsci is trying to pass off that amount of energy use as a lot, it really isn't in the grand sceme of things. Even a medium sized city such as Cheyanne WY uses multiple power plants, and when you think about it, Google needs energy for use around the entire world.
Talking about continuous suck; where's Bubba?
dude. c'mon ... -_-"
bored? lets go mine the stars... ^^
In 2008 the average energy usage worldwide was 15TW, or 15,000,000MW compared to Google's 260. That gives Google a 0.00173% share of global energy usage. Suck it up people.
If you really do work at a power station (or anything that has to do with energy) I hope you are the janitor or something.
You are confusing an energy rate (MW) with total energy consumption (MWh). It makes no sense to be talking about "MW per minute" as MW is already a rate. It would be like saying you were driving at 30 mph per minute.
A kWh, MWh, etc are measures of total energy. You can add up to the same amount of energy at different rates. e.g. Driving at 10 mph or 100 mph (rate/MW), you will still get to 100 miles traveled (amount/MWh).
Google uses 260MW of power (not energy). One MWh is 1 MW used for an hour, so their total energy usage can be found by multiplying 260MW by the hours in a year. This is about 2,280,000,000 kWh/year. The average home uses between 50,000 and 100,000 kWh/year.
So Google uses the equivalent power of ~25,000 homes.
Compare this to the Google’s power consumption and yea, I can see the amount they use is not bad. I do not think they sweat the electric bill. ;)
Google's 2010 Annual Revenue $29.32 Billion; a 24% increase from its $23.65 Billion annual revenue in 2009.
I like Google and all, but I use many other search engines too. I wonder how many different search engines there are and how they compare to each other?
Thanks for the clarification on watts and power.
When I googled the number of employees at google I came up with somewhere around 24.5 thousand. I say sell 'm all the electricity they need. Any company that can have that many tax paying employees, well, take all you want. More power to ya.
If you are at all worried about what people think of you (and I'm not saying you should be), It seems to me that you ought to build a small Nuclear power-plant within a few miles of your HQ. This would get you "off the grid" as far as power is concerned, so that you and IBM can finally declare independence from America.
Iambeast, it is scary you work for a power company and have no concept of measuring power. Watts are always a constant. Kilo watt hours and the like are just a way to charge for consumption. If you want to add time into the discussion of power you are then thinking of joules.
I wonder how many MW equivilant one quick Obama fundraising trip uses? Dont forget secret service, and all the support planes, choppers, and limosines.
"Just Look at All Those Cables There must be like a billion watts in there. sugree via Flickr " Those are just regular UTP cables aren't they? that's like 10w if you're lucky
Steelbrains, there is a direct relationship between kWh and joules: 1 KwH=3.6 million joules. A joule is equal to one watt-second. Either term adequately describes usage. ToomeyND, your math doesn't make sense. A house using 100kW for a month? The max load of the average house with everything turned on is around 20-25kW. You probably mean 100kWh for a month. The main issue here is instantaneous usage (kW) versus usage over time (kWh). It's kind of like velocity vs. distance.
If Google is using 260MW at all times, its usage per month would be 260MWh in an hour, 6240MWh in a day, or 187,200 MWh (187.2 GWh) in a 30-day month.
For comparison, our hypothetical 1400MW plant would produce 1,008,000 MWh (1.008 TWh) in a month.
Hmm... maybe they need their own personal nuclear reator. They could certainly manage it.
I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.
As long as folks need to Google to find out how many kilowatts 260,000,000 watts is Google will keep using energy.
It's not how much power Google uses but the carbon output. They are leaders with tons of cash - use renewable non-polluting sources for God's sake (and ours).
Wooh... its huge