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coalternative energy for data

Coalternative Energy Sources and Why They Must be Harnessed to Meet the Power Demands of Modern Hardware Systems and Networks

The integration of alternative power sources (also known as coalternative energy) to power demanding modern hardware systems and networks is not just a possibility but a necessity, driven by the environmental impact of conventional energy and the growing energy requirements of digital technologies. With much current power coming from coal-fired power stations, if we are to keep growing technology and data mining at current rates, we need to find more green sources of fuel to power them.

Colocation data centers, which host the infrastructure for cloud computing and data storage, are particularly energy-intensive and significantly contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

Transitioning to alternative energy sources, commonly known as coalternatives, is urgent.

Replacing coal with more eco-friendly alternative fuels like black pellets, as well as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power, can offer data centers a more stable, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly energy supply – and this needs to be done fast because this sector needs more power, fast.

As the number of Internet-connected devices and the data they generate continues to skyrocket, the energy consumption of digital technologies is expected to increase dramatically. For instance, streaming content, the proliferation of Internet-connected devices, and the rollout of 5G networks contribute significantly to the growing energy demands. Estimates suggest that by 2025, information and communication technology could account for more than 20% of global energy use. This “tsunami of data” necessitates a more sustainable approach to energy consumption, as the sheer volume of data processed and stored in data centers requires enormous quantities of electricity.

Fortunately, renewable energy sources promise the potential to meet all of our energy needs.

Wind power capacity is growing by the day.  Biofuels like black pellets are already available as a fast replacement for coal, and geothermal and solar energy could potentially supply significant amounts of energy to billions of people, assuming these technologies become more economically viable. The wider use of these energy sources will depend on the development of new forms of energy storage and competitive economics.

The push towards alternative energy is supported by significant advances in technology. Innovations in energy development, including research in biotechnology, materials technology like carbon nanofibers, and computing, are driving the creation of new energy carriers such as hydrogen, micropower networks, and new solar technologies. There are also new fuels like black pellets which is currently attracting significant investment.

These developments could have a significant impact on the energy system, although it is challenging to predict which technologies will ultimately contribute the most.

Thus, the future of powering modern hardware systems and networks relies on a strategic shift to alternative energy sources – it’s not a case of if, we need to make it happen and we need it fast.

This shift promises to provide a sustainable solution to the increasing energy demands of a world that is becoming ever more digital and interconnected.



  1. “A Guide to Transitioning to Alternative Data Center Energy” from which discussed the urgency of transitioning to alternative power sources for data centers due to their high energy consumption and environmental impact, and provided strategies for such a transition.


  1. “The Battle Over Technology and Energy Consumption” from which highlighted the increasing energy demands of digital technologies, the potential of smart systems to reduce energy consumption, and the importance of computing efficiency in managing the power needs of the growing digital data stream.


  1. “Meeting Future Energy Needs: Choices and Possibilities” from which outlined the potential of renewable energy sources to meet our energy needs and the impact of technological innovation on energy development, including the advancement of biotechnology, materials technology, and new solar technologies.