A day of online abstinence? Hard to imagine! After all, the Internet is too firmly anchored in our lives. With the world's first #GreenInternet Day, today E.ON wants to raise awareness of the fact that increasing use of the Internet is also associated with growing power consumption. With this initiative, E.ON is not seeking to point the online finger, but rather the opposite: to discuss how the Internet can become green.
The power consumption of Internet-enabled devices such as smartphones, televisions or ATMs plays a minor role. The focus is on making data available in data centers. E.ON assumes that data centers will account for a total of 13 percent of the world's electricity demand by 2030. In a recent study, E.ON calculated that new applications made possible by the 5G wireless standard will consume an additional 3.8 terawatt-hours of electricity by 2025 in Germany alone – enough energy to supply the cities of Cologne, Duesseldorf and Dortmund with electricity for an entire year.
The #GreenInternet Day is drawing attention to this challenge with various activities. E.ON will be placing its homepage symbolically black for one day today. On its social media channels, E.ON will post black posts with the unusual message “Don't click this. It consumes electricity”. A YouTube video will be urging people to stop watching it and skip through it as quickly as possible. Several artists and influencers will dare to experiment with their communities on their high-reach social media channels. The resolution for this follows.
These actions are calling for unfamiliar online behavior. This illustrates that online abstinence or the reduction of online activities is hardly possible nowadays and, above all, simply does not make sense. Anyone who nevertheless “clicks” on the campaign will be directed to the green-internet page created by E.ON, where facts and background information on the topic of the Internet and energy is provided.
E.ON sees the solution to the growing power consumption of the Internet in the climate-friendly supply of data centers. E.ON already supplies data centers with clean energy or builds highly efficient cogeneration plants or fuel cells at its sites – often combined with photovoltaic systems or wind energy. Involving E.ON in the planning of new data centers ensures they can be operated as climate-friendly as possible later on.
The waste heat generated in data centers, which is currently wasted, also offers great potential. The waste heat from data centers can be used to heat the homes of entire districts. E.ON is implementing its first pilot projects in this regard in Sweden.