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Smart scheduling for big computing tasks cuts emissions up to a third

Smart scheduling for big computing tasks cuts emissions up to a third

We could slash emissions from database backups or long machine-learning tasks by waiting to run them until renewable energy makes up the largest part of the energy mix

Technology



1 November 2021

Planning intensive computing for hours during which renewable energy is used limits carbon emissions

ALEX PLAVEVSKI/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Shifting large computing jobs to nights or weekends could reduce their associated carbon emissions by a third, according to researchers who say that flexibility is key to reducing the environmental impact of the data centres that power everything from banks to social media networks.

The International Energy Agency found that data centres consumed around 250 terrawatt hours of power in 2019, or about 1 per cent of global electricity use, and says this is expected to …

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