Data centers are popping up all over the place. There are more apps being created everyday. More and more people are using cell phones. I even know people who know have multiple cell phones due to business needs. The internet is here to stay, obviously, and is using more and more data all the time. So it’s not a shocker to hear of new data centers opening up across America.
Data centers are versatile in that they can be located in areas that might otherwise not support other types of businesses. A data center has to have a connection to the outside world in order to receive and send data. Other than that, there’s not a lot of other requirements from a geography standpoint. My dad lives in Central Oregon where there are a lot of areas that have been hard up for jobs. Creating jobs in a semi-desolate area is not easy. So anytime a new one opens, and the jobs are announced, my dad always gets excited because he knows that the jobs will go to people that really, really need them.
I had never thought about it before, but I just read an article discussing the huge amount of energy that data centers use. It makes sense, considering that the entire center is based around electronics. As the need to house data continues to grow, the demand from the data center industry for electricity will also grow. According to Green Tech Media, data centers account for roughly 2 percent of all electricity consumption in America.
The article was particularly interesting, because it compared that the growing demand for electricity by data centers to the growing demand for electricity from the marijuana industry. Right now, it’s estimated that the marijuana industry accounts for 1 percent of all electricity consumption in America. But, the demand for electricity from the marijuana industry is growing faster than that of the demand from the data center industry. When it will surpass the data center industry is tough to say, mainly because of the unpredictable rate of energy consumption growth from an exploding marijuana industry.
In Denver alone, it’s estimated that electricity demand from the marijuana industry grows by 50% every year. I have to assume that is true of other metro areas where the marijuana industry is flourishing. The fact of the matter is that the current rate of growth is unsustainable. Marijuana growers need to incorporate energy saving measures when they grow indoors, and businesses need to shift some of their indoor gardens to outdoor ones. Sungrown marijuana has a significantly smaller energy need compared to indoor grown marijuana, for obvious reasons. Some say that LED grow lights are the answer, but I think that only goes so far. I’m curious to see what inventions enter the cannabis space that address energy consumption issues. If you are an inventor, now is your time to step up and reap the rewards!
image via Wikipedia