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Source: Pexels

The City Where The Internet Warms Your Home

By Tessa Love

Everything you do online, from checking Facebook to sending an email to reading this article, requires the use of data center. "The cloud," as BBC points out, "is a real place." And that place takes the form of millions of massive rooms and office buildings spread across the world, which house millions of servers. 

These servers don't live in a vacuum. They use up massive amounts of energy, and give off C02 emissions and wasted heat. In the U.S. alone, nearly 12 million servers are housed in 3 million data centers, and they consume enough energy each year to power all of New York City's households for two years. That's the equivalent pollution of 34 coal-fueled power plants.  

A huge portion of this energy use is air conditioning, which the centers keep on full blast to cool the machines and keep them running. So even though many data centers are going solar to combat their energy, there's still excess heat that could be used in a better way. In the Swedish capital Stockholm, they're using that heat to warm people's homes