Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

Yeah, but it is unclear what fuels power them. If it's 2% powered by nuclear/hydro, making them use 1/4 the electrical energy is less of a win than if there are big savings in places powered by coal or diesel or fuel oil.

At first glance the big datacenters are going in places with cheap hydro (TVA powers NoVA, right? and OR/WA, although they do use more coal than I would have thought).

Transportation remains one of the biggest potential wins, and some weird things like cement production which are huge outliers relative to economic value created.

It makes no difference what powers them, energy is interchangeable - if the data center doesn't use it, someone else will.

Energy isn't interchangeable across the globe. A lot of alternative fuel sources are in remote and underserved locations (Iceland has lots of geothermal); it's economically worthwhile to ship bauxite there, but not worthwhile to build a HVDC circuit to power a plant in downtown London from Icelandic power.

An even more clear example is that natural gas is about 30% the price in the US Midwest as it is in Europe or the rest of the world market. That's the whole point of the Keystone XL pipeline. Even oil has a 20% spread right now between central USA and coastal USA/world.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact