How much electricity does the cloud use?

Researchers at Greenpeace estimate that if the cloud were a country it would be one of the biggest consumers of electricity on the planet—sixth in fact, after Russia, and before Germany. In 2012, analysts at the New York Times estimated that cloud computing consumed 30 billion watts of power per year, or as much as can be produced by 30 nuclear power plants. In the US alone, data centers use energy equivalent to the amount used to power 6.4 million average American homes in a year.

AWS owns and operates a crucial piece of the digital economy, which uses a tenth of the world’s electricity each year. Simply put, it takes a lot of power to keep the cloud running.