Naver, the Korean internet search giant and parent company of social media platform Line, has promised to power its data centre in South Korea with 100% renewable energy, following the global trend set by Google, Apple, Facebook and, more recently, Equinix.
Naver is South Korea’s number one internet portal, with 18 million daily visitors, 1.2 billion page views per day and 7,400 search queries every single second.
Greenpeace East Asia secured the promise from the internet giant following meetings with the company in May, just ahead of launching the Cool IT campaign in South Korea to push for renewable energy sources in the IT sector.
‘As a country enjoying some of the fastest internet speeds in the world and an openness to new technology, the use of renewable energy is only a matter of will. More and more IT brands are committing to 100% renewable energy goals, so for those who want to avoid lagging behind in the global market, renewable energy is not an option but a must.’
Gary Cook, senior IT analyst at Greenpeace USA
Greenpeace East Asia has also released an evaluation of the electricity performance of seven major internet service providers in South Korea, including Naver, KT, LG U+, SK C&C and Samsung SDS.
According to the report, Naver received an ‘A’ in terms of transparency and renewable energy policy, while DaumKakao, Samsung SDS and LG U+ ranked the lowest.
Of the seven IT companies included in Greenpeace East Asia’s report, SK C&C has the largest proportion of renewable energy, despite it constituting only 1% of its total electricity use. This is followed by KT at 0.44% and Naver at 0.006%. Half of the companies refused to provide data.
‘We welcome such a progressive decision from Naver as it has the potential to shape an industry which so far has had a limited vision for renewable energy use. We are optimistic that the company will serve as a clean and sustainable model for the so-called ‘creative economy’ being pursued by the Korean government.’
Jude Lee, climate and energy campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia
Data centres around the world consume nearly 684 billion kWh (as of 2011), which makes the online world the sixth-largest power-consumer after China, USA, Japan, India and Russia.
In South Korea, the annual amount of energy consumed by data centres stood at nearly 2.6 billion kWh in 2013, which is equal to the monthly energy consumption of a staggering 12 million households.
Major internet companies including Apple, Facebook and Google continue to lead efforts to build an internet that is powered by renewable energy, but an uncooperative fossil fuel sector and rapid energy demand growth for the internet places those ambitions under threat.
Greenpeace is calling on all major internet companies to:
Click here to find out more about Greenpeace’s Cool IT Challenge.
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