The Renewable Internet Initiative : by SupraNet
Tree Frog sitting on a computer mouse

Introducing SupraNet — A Pioneer for a Greener Internet.

Madison-based SupraNet Communications, Inc. is creating a model for a “Renewable Internet” by becoming one of the first green Internet Service Providers in the country.

Why Green?
The IT industry is one of the largest consumers of electric power in the United States. SupraNet recognizes the negative impact the IT industry can have on the environment and is determined to do their part to reduce their drain on the power grid. The following statistics help put into perspective the role IT plays in our current energy crisis.According to the EPA...

• Electricity consumed by servers accounted for 1.5% of national electricity
(61 billion kilowatt hours)

• In the last 5 years, electricity use has more than doubled and is expected to double again by 2010

• Energy consumption by servers now exceeds that of color televisions in the U.S.

• Data centers can consume 40 times more energy than conventional office buildings

• 80-90% of the energy consumed by a data center is used for cooling; only 10% is actually used to power servers

Most of the energy consumed by a data center is devoted to cooling needs created by servers that generate significant amounts of heat. An end product to technology advancement is heat, since there is a direct correlation between the increase in the processing speed of computers and the heat that it generates. Given Moore’s Law, which states that computing power doubles every 18 months more heat is guaranteed to be generated with each successive product generation and ultimately more energy will be consumed.

Environmental crisis
Of the total energy consumed in America, about 39% is used to generate electricity. The problem with this lies in the fact that most of the electricity generated in the United States comes from fossil fuels, like coal, oil, and natural gas, all of which have a negative impact on our environment and contribute to greenhouse gasses and global warming. In fact, the Internet we use today mostly runs on coal. Therefore the paradigm shift in our industry will occur when Data Center providers like SupraNet move from charging for Internet bandwidth and rack space to charging for power.
The generation of electric power produces more pollution than any other single industry in the United States. Recent data shows the U.S. electricity industry is responsible for:

• 63% of Sulfur Dioxide emissions that contribute to acid rain
• 22% of Nitrogen Oxide emissions that contribute to urban smog
• 39% of Carbon Dioxide emissions that contribute to global climate change
• 33% of Mercury Emissions that pose significant health risks

Among the other major environmental issues linked to electricity are water impacts, generation of wastes, and the disruption of land uses. Electricity-powered computer and communication systems are becoming more and more important parts of our lives and our economy. Due to this demand for energy, we must avoid increasing the damage to our environment by using electricity efficiently and by obtaining it from the cleanest sources available.

Progress is being made
SupraNet is in the process of constructing a green data center, scheduled to be completed in the next 18-24 months. The ultimate goal: Creating a Renewable Internet with a zero carbon footprint. SupraNet has already made significant progress with their Renewable Internet initiative by:

• Installing a biodiesel generator to help power their existing data center. (Biodiesel is favored because it is environmentally sustainable. It is a natural substance, mostly derived from Soybean and other oil seed crops, making it renewable and biodegradable. Biodiesel also helps reduce the emissions of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide by 50-78 percent)

• Working towards a goal of reducing power usage by 25% by the end of 2007 by moving internal servers to a virtualized environment

• Striving towards a model that combines the best green building practices with the natural benefits of cold Wisconsin winters in order to cool their data center

How can you make a difference?
The bottom-line for SupraNet and their clients is that everyone needs to be responsible for the environmental crisis facing this planet. The challenge is only becoming greater with the ever-increasing dependence on technology and computers. By developing a Renewable Internet, SupraNet makes it easy for any business to help the environment with no consequence to their Internet or data services. In fact, a Renewable Internet is not only energy-efficient, but is also cost efficient for their clients. By partnering with a green Internet Service Provider, companies can improve their business, their bottom-line and the environment. Now that is a win, win, win situation.
SupraNet Home

EPA Report

To learn more about how the Renewable Internet Initiative can help your business contact Bryan Chan at 608.836.0282 or email today.

Why Green? Environmental crisis Progress is being made How can you make a difference?