Google Details Green Credentials

Google has launched a stats offensive to prove its carbon-neutral status, adding a "The Big Picture" section to its Google Green pages that claims a month of using the search giant's various services only amounts to 3hrs light from a 60W bulb per user. The company's data centers use less than 0.01-percent of the world's electricity – something that's actually still pretty mind-boggling, if you think about it – thanks to a combination of renewable energy sources like solar and wind, and more creative building design.

In fact, Google says its data centers use around half of the power that rivals demand, with a significant reduction in facilities costs – such as cooling and powering the servers themselves – being the main reason. Meanwhile around 35-percent of the power Google uses is from renewable sources: the solar panels at its Mountain View campus, for instance, are good for 3m kWh of electricity each year.

Meanwhile further investments are set to unlock 1.7 GW of renewable energy – or enough power for over 350,000 homes – from external projects. Google's obvious hope is that businesses and individuals will shift their email and other activities to the company's servers instead, but it all makes for interesting reading if you've ever wondered how much power it takes to run your online life.