Consider server farms, which are black holes of energy consumption. About 1% of the world's energy goes to powering the computers and cooling them down. And half of that one percent goes to cooling. So companies like Facebook are moving their server farms to the Arctic Circle, where they can use the natural cool air to cut costs. Facebook is now building one in Lulea, Sweden.
Lulea's dry, frigid weather "definitely is a big part" of the company's decision to build there, Facebook spokesman Michael Kirkland said. Using outside air to cool servers is "absolutely beneficial not just from an environmental perspective, but also from a cost perspective."Full story here.
Analysts agree. There are "overwhelming financial advantages" to building in the far north, according to Rakesh Kumar, an analyst with Gartner.
Utilizing free outside air can result in "tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions [of dollars], of savings per year" for each site, Kumar said.
HT: Tyler Cowen