One Google search generates around seven grams of carbon dioxide, equal to boiling half a kettle of water, reports US information research specialist Gartner.
The company suggested carbon dioxide emissions generated by the global IT industry account for 2% of the world's total emissions, according to China Economic Weekly, a weekly magazine published under the People's Daily.
Shang Erbin, president of Eaton Cooperation's China Division, told the magazine that data centers account for 40% of total energy consumption for global IT industry emissions. In 2011, data centers in China accounted for 5% of the total national energy consumption of the country, which is three times of that of the US, while the biggest energy-consuming units include infrastructures such as uninterruptible power supply, power distribution systems and cooling systems.
Guo Xiuming, director of China's Ministry of Information Industry Policy and Regulation Department, calculated that the energy consumption of the country's electronic appliances, especially computers, is roughly equivalent to the total generating capacity of the Three Gorges hydroelectric dam.
Guo said the government's 12th five-year plan (2011-2015) has designated green development of the information network and the improvement of standards for information services as goals for the communication industry. This will include initiatives such as promoting mobile offices and video conferencing to reduce the energy consumption of the country as a whole.