Adoption of cloud computing by U.S. companies could result in annual energy savings of $12.3 billion and a reduction in carbon emissions equivalent to about 200 million barrels of oil, a study has predicted.

The new study by the Carbon Disclosure Project, an independent organization with some 3,000 members, found that the cloud computing could deliver significant benefits to the environment.

The study predicts that companies will accelerate their adoption of cloud computing from the current level of about 10% to about 69% by 2020. Of those that have already adopted cloud computing, the reported power savings are in the range of 40% to 50%.

“A large percentage of global GDP [gross domestic product] is reliant on ICT [information communications technology] – this is a critical issue as we strive to decouple economic growth from emissions growth,” Paul Dickinson, executive chairman of the Carbon Disclosure Project, said in a statement.

“The carbon emissions-reducing potential of cloud computing is a thrilling breakthrough, allowing companies to maximize performance, drive down costs, reduce inefficiency and minimize energy use – and therefore carbon emissions – all a the same time.”

In addition to the aggregate savings, the study found cloud computing can:

  • Help users avoid up-front capital investments in infrastructure.
  • Improve time-to-market as a new server can be created or brought online in minutes.
  • Avoid continual maintenance of excess capacity need to handle spikes.



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