Google uses the power of 200,000 homes

But the world is better off as a result, they say
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Google unveiled the internet giant's energy consumption footprint for the first time, defending the the 1.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide the company produces each year as much more efficient than rivals.

The power consumed by the search engine giant is roughly the same as that consumed by 200,000 homes. That said the company claimed that the firm's custom designed data centers used half as much power than the average installation.

On the official Google blog the search giant defended the energy cost saying that the firm's cloud-based computing saved power worldwide, claiming that Gmail could use up to 80 times less power than in-house operated email systems.

The company also used more general examples to illustrate how power efficient Google is, providing the eccentric example that one year of gmail use would use the same power as producing a bottle of wine, stuffing a message into it and throwing it into the ocean.

"The servers needed to play one minute of YouTube consume about 0.0002 kWh of energy. To put that in perspective, it takes about eight seconds for the human body to burn off that same amount," wrote Google's 'green' boss David Jacobowitz.

"You’d have to watch YouTube for three straight days for our servers to consume the amount of energy required to manufacture, package and ship a single DVD," Google said.

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