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tv   Close up - The Power- Hungry Internet - Digitalizations Dark Side  Deutsche Welle  December 19, 2018 10:15am-10:46am CET

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more than half of the world's population uses the internet whether on the move at home or at work we are constantly connected to the office for hours on end. and feel how life is online and. you're only as smart as your watch by connection huge amounts of data travel across the internet and that uses a lot of energy the future is a digital globe and that future needs storage space. among the data is doubled every year and this date that needs to sit still for the digital age is powered by millions of servers stored in giant in largely unseen data centers it's all no need to map out how we're going to make the digital revolution sustainable and contain its environmental impact.
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this facility belongs to the german based software giant s a p goods is the corporation's head of data center services this is the home of the cloud thousands of super fast computers that exchange data while we use our internet connected devices to work shop watch t.v. or play digital games. the cloud is the other end of the internet the machines behind our computers tablets and smartphones a gigantic invisible and energy consuming network. the physical manifestation of the theory all internet. yes i
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guess a.p. has more than twenty thousand servers in this facility that media link tricity to calculate and run the applications. but. those energy needs are enormous data centers in germany alone use the equivalent of five large power plants about forty such facilities operate worldwide just to power the internet. if the worldwide web were a country it would rank sixth in the world for the amount of energy it uses and carbon it emits. here you can see how much energy your data center of the size consumers. right now are in one of our two energy power supply facilities the offshore it is nearly thirty megawatts. that's enough to power a small town or several small communities here in germany. a lot of the
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energy is used to cool the computers which heat up. when they're a news. crew to speak it's why the technology requires electricity and water and electricity powers the fans and the pumps and the water cools the heat exchangers of it i would like to hear what i'm seeing which were in on this idea about the should decide this is called adiabatic cooling off of the water evaporates and that lowers the temperature and. it's a very efficient and economical process but if it's really hot outside we have to switch over to a large refrigeration system to keep the facility cool the group trying to. minutes and is kept outside in. the heat that's generated by the servers is a serious problem. i-t. experts and engineers around the world are trying to come up with solutions.
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lots of people use the internet all day long frequently checking into social media platforms like facebook twitter or you tube and all those billions of clicks use a lot of energy these four young women in berlin are roommates on a martina mabena and not use digital technology to organize their home. and that's why they call themselves smart roommates. says it has been mom the first thing we do when we get up in the morning he's checking out emails and facebook and instagram photos in secret noise from agency in guns comes close the last month. with people all over the world. that like the idea of having friends in other countries and this so i stay in touch with them and with a good time. i do my work in a cloud platform with a colleague we exchange data and work on documents together and that will cause us
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offices not chinese digital maps a loss a really helpful in a big city like than in so with things like sharing and by sharing sharing by sharing. these women are among the three billion people around the world who regularly use the internet but few people realize that when they click on a website they're locking into a global infrastructure that gobbles up massive amounts of energy. data centers are often housed in in conspicuous industrial buildings like this one in frankfurt the interaction company operates twelve data centers here and it's building more. this is also the home of the world's largest internet exchange point called kicks. these rooms full of
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batteries are used to maintain an uninterrupted supply of power. and operate a high tech fire suppression system. that uses argon gas to reduce oxygen content in the affected area so any fire would burn out on its own. interactions data centers have their own transformer substation. it converts high voltage electric power that comes in from the grid into low voltage power that can be distributed throughout the facility. the substations are outfitted with backup systems to ensure consistency supply of electricity during emergencies like power outages or surgeons. the data centers in frankfurt consume twenty percent of all the electricity used in the city that's
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more than frankfurt huge international airport. we were outside berlin near the small town of guns a. ten months on top of us author university professor and expert on sustainable digitise zation lives here with his family in a few friends and some animals. on top of us studies the impact that digital technology has on the environment the economy and society in general. some taleo says a hobby farmer it's definitely a low tech existence. but try as he might he can't completely avoid using digital technology. and he should also pose a long line of smartphones also i'm trying to stay off my smartphone but the sheep
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are online and. they're outfitted with radio frequency identification your tax money those tags use an electromagnetic field to keep track of the animals. on them of course the internet offers us a number of wonderful new opportunities to make and make our lives easier and more enjoyable was told. last comes out about we pay a price for that because this technology consumes a huge amount of energy and our supply of electricity on this planet is limited and . the data technology sector is booming new data centers like this one it s a p corporate headquarters involved often southwestern germany are being built all over the world. even knowing the new technology has created
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a wide variety of applications like the internet of things and block change and we believe that this will require a substantial increase in datacenter capacity. ok it's up to you that's why i say p is building new data centers word cloud systems and we're expanding some of the old ones like. how they sound like something or tell me a joke. but how does why is the trouble in the world quietest car. there's so little space inside that your knees cover your ears. a digital device that can tell jokes may seem unnecessary to some but more and more people are using these gadgets and not just at home. experts predict that fifty billion of these devices will be in use by two thousand and twenty in combination with the internet of things online gaming video streaming sites and four k. t.v. . we have to drive to the video store to render
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a biofilm. but today you can stream it in the wild that uses up to one third less energy per film there has the same time been a dramatic rise in streaming video through the internet. video already accounts for seventy percent of internet traffic on the net. today many household appliances have their own internet address and they can be controlled and monitored by smart home technology. natalia one of the smart roommates describes how the system works. that is that this is the central server for our apartment we use it to monitor devices in all the rooms. and i have different personal settings for mornings and evenings. in the morning for example i have a special playlist that wakes me. up. and it's great that i can
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monitor the room temperature and even the carbon dioxide levels. he said that we have the same interface on our mobile phone so we can change the settings even when we're not honus hospitals hi ann. worldwide data transfer traffic doubles every eighteen months and the next big boom is already underway. here at the annual high tech industrial trade fair in hanover a lot of people are excited about industry four point zero which is shorthand for automation and data exchange and manufacturing technologies. falcon to mine is a senior researcher at the berlin based porter step institute. this one with the internet's consumption of electricity is growing by leaps and bounds. that's to impart to the huge amount of data transfer. here at the trade fair you can see that all of the machines are outfitted with sensors that collect data continuously.
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right now in germany our energy requirements for the internet and data centers at just under thirteen terawatt alice that's about as much energy as the city of berlin uses in an entire year. or the amount of off shore energy that's produced in the bullshit call no think. that's all it is these numbers will increase by as much as twenty five percent over the next five or six years. i'm going to give all. visitors to the trade fair contest augmented or virtual reality technology and find out more about the latest developments in robotics. this technology will soon be available just about everywhere and it too will require a lot of energy. into the trail just towards increasingly larger data centers we call them hyper scale facility. there is biggest of all football fields they
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consume as much electricity is a town or small city. cooperation it's like google on facebook microsoft and apple are building their own data centers. google facebook microsoft there are about three hundred fifty of such facilities right now around the world. and we expect that number to double over the next five years yet. many believe that digital technology will help reduce the consumption of fossil fuels like petroleum and natural gas particularly when it comes to cars. new data streams designed to enhance automotive technology are already being developed. to run the hardest one smart are all today we have smart cars that use a lot of this technology they generate about twenty five gigabytes of data per hour . and there will be
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a huge increase in data transfer as we develop driverless cars it could be as much as two hundred fifty gigabytes per hour. if you printed out that amount of data you'd have one hundred tons of paper and you'd need four big trucks to move it around just for the amount of data generated in one alan i know still not thought not for the. development of driverless cars may help to reduce the number of vehicles on the road particularly if people use car sharing programs or a robot taxi. cashiering ordered so fewer people will actually have to own a car and because i'm tired. i don't see it then i like them that would be a positive development because the industry of automobile production uses a lot of resources as it so savings there would be a good thing. on the other hand driverless cars will require an enormous data
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infrastructure because those vehicles are constantly scanning their surroundings. and fit into every data streams from the lasers sensors radar technology and other . devices in addition these vehicles will require a constant flow of three d. map data and. deem as for example a robot taxi could generate up to four terabytes of data over twenty four hours that i am todd is too few it tells and. means that over a period of thirty six hours it would be producing as much data as the entire number of people on line around the world today full from the all to come to that. this is the nord fjord on norway's southwest coast the fjord is more than one hundred kilometers long. the natural landscape here is breathtaking. this area is also home to the left all mine data center. the facility was built on
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the site of a former mine and it could serve as a model for more efficiency and sustainable storage of huge computer systems. a shipment of high performance computers has just arrived at the data center. there in this big container. the computers are pre-wired and ready to be hooked up to the internet. the computers are transported deep into the data center complex. here we have three containers arriving almost every week and in two years from now this level three will be completed with forty five megawatts here three facility
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over the next period up to ten the earth will fill the entire data center and this small. mots onda son has the marketing director of what set to become one of europe's biggest data centers. the facility has a total potential storage capacity of more than one hundred twenty thousand square meters the equivalent of sixteen soccer fields. spread out over six up training levels. this side is protected by a state of the art security system. and paved road ways provide access to the storage chambers throughout the site. the containers are placed on huge steel shelves. so. can the build out two hundred megawatts now that is enough to take care of the entire
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north we didn't need for data center capacity that is quite a lot. two hundred megawatts is. twenty times a large datacenter today. that would easily suffice to meet the energy requirements of a modern urban center. and there's plenty of room for the data center to expand its modular storage concept. the facility is powered exclusively by locally produced renewable energy and its cooling system makes it extremely energy efficient. the key element in the cooling system is water from the nearby fjord. since the
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data center is located below sea level there's no need to use expensive pumps to lift the water to the heat exchangers. here is left of mine data center we used to fjord on the outside with the cold sea water that they bring into the data center to heat exchangers and those heat exchangers interact with the coast fresh water circuit that goes all through the davis center and through the signet that i.t. areas are too cold pipes coming in with cold water and there are two hoped pipes going out with hold water and here we can see the the pipes going into the container racks and being distributed out to different containers. with the construction of this data center norway has taken a major step forward into a sustainable digital future the country already enjoys a surplus of renewable energy and the government sees data centers like left all as an important part of its new economic development strategy so they dissenters are
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about power large amounts of power being transformed into bits and bytes transported through a network cables rather than power cables norway as a country as a renewable power production ninety eight percent of the power is idle hydro power or wind color this is unique in that global perspective. the left all facility gets its electricity from several hydro power plants located around the region. but not all data centers create such a small environmental footprint. greenpeace has compiled a report on the energy efficiency of the sides. two months on top us serves on the supervisory board of greenpeace germany. that greenpeace is an innate meaning in the greenpeace is one of the few environmental n.g.o.s that has actually addressed the consequences and risks of digitization when they get it and last year we published
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a clicking green study that evaluates the energy performance of the id sector he's in a dish form the new guns and informants and company has sensationally nine and we found that some companies were doing a good job and this is. and apple for example uses renewable energy to power about eighty percent of its server and data centers splits and annoy. and a few others like google facebook and switch at least get half their electricity from renewable sources. and in any. number of major players in the information and communications technology sector have created a consortium called the green grid association to improve i.t. and data center resource efficiency worldwide. association member google was one of the first companies to use artificial intelligence to reduce energy consumption. its deep mind subsidiary calculates data
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streams in advance which allows servers to function more efficiently. it also helps to reduce the amount of energy that's required to cool the servers but not all i.t. giants have followed this example. about i'm going to name so much the amazon amazon the world market leader in cloud computing services still gets its electricity from conventional sources and that often means dirty coal fired power plants steam. scandinavian companies are leading the way when it comes to developing energy efficient data systems. this is interactions stockholm campus where the company's big data center is located. the facility still uses traditional cooling systems that are located on the roof. but these days
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they function more efficiently. lot of power and energy in the day the sun the and a majority of that is turned into. heat that we need to remove from the equipment and that ends up here on the roof and then a dent. then a few years back we thought there might be a smarter solution for this than just sending it off in yeah. these servers run exclusively on green power so they produce heat without emitting carbon dioxide. but managing director pedo bank also found a way to plug that supply of excess heat into the stockholm grid so that homes and other businesses can use it. to. these sorts
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of environmentally friendly concepts has now become standard throughout much of scandinavia. so yeah i think the right way to look at data center in the future is to look at them as a part of the solution not a part of the problem so instead of looking at data send us as as huge installations using all our renewable energy only. then look at them as heating station saw urban for the cities and at the same time as they heat the water we need for our household they also run the data we need for our smart phones . it's no coincidence that there's a district heating station located near the data center this facility is part of a network that covers about ninety percent of the buildings and start off. data centers can use heat recovery programs to make themselves climate neutral or even climate positive. list to feel stock on has
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a goal to be totally fossil fuel free as a city by two thousand and forty. the energy system of the city obviously being a very important part of a city's environmental footprint we as a company supporting the city in their goal by making sure that we are. becoming fossil fuel free by reusing datacenter ways. that sufficient energy use on two different levels first at the point of production and then again at the point of consumption. it's a commendable alternative to coal fired electricity. resources of energy is limited so we need as humans as human kind we need to be careful about how we treat the resources from the because they are. they might have an end
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date. two months on top of us shares that philosophy so in november he organized a conference that brought together environmental activists and digital technology experts. the conference was held at the technical university in berlin and. the participants discussed how to make the digitize ation process more sustainable . and one of the confidence of. the answer we want the politicians to get serious about this. can you please so far they've just with expanding broadband capacity or providing tablet computers for schools and because we want society to play an active role in shaping digitization and that means the politicians will have to do their part in the new political when i was because i'm kind of soft on its alliance and efforts to create internet technology that's more sustainable are
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just getting started a number of challenges lie ahead. right now the four smart roommates are taking time out from their digital world. if more people did that now and then it would help reduce internet energy use. to us smart remake to the smart roommates. it's got that. there was a campaign slogan in the run up to the last german parliamentary elections that said digitization now doubts later but we think it should be the other way around think before you digitise. people should reflect on how much digital technology and how many devices they actually need to live a fulfilled life into that and we had to keep following the maxim as much digitization as necessary but on the whole as little as possible. i'm not into that movie.
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