Countries’ power grids differ wildly in their footprints

I showed in my post last week that the biggest determinant of good vs bad carbon footprint for a data centre is what power source it runs off.

If you want to pick a good data centre, therefore, you want to pick one that’s on a good power grid (most data centres run off their local public grid most of the time). Some high-level examples of power grid footprints are in the chart below, supplied by our friends at Amee. As you can see, the grids differ a *lot* in their footprints. The UK, where we’re located, is okayish but not great; in line with the US average, although within US states there’s a wide spread as well. Iceland, Switzerland, and Sweden are all very good, if you can manage to get servers there.

Of course, you can just run jobs through our services and we’ll take care of the detail of how to minimise the carbon footprint. But it’s still good to understand why we’re doing what we do.


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