Sunday, February 12, 2017

#Wikimedia Foundation and #Energy

The energy use of the Wikimedia Foundation makes the WMF a dirty supplier of data. The WMF position is that it has no data centre of its own and relies on the energy provided by the hosting company.

When you look at energy use in relation to Wikipedia, there are two components. There is supplying the data and there is consuming the data. The WMF has a problem in one and it has two problems that it can solve.

The WMF is making a war chest that should enable it to function in times when the current funding effort proves to be problematic; they are investing for a rainy day. One other problem for the WMF is that many people do not use Wikipedia and one of the reasons why is a lack of energy. The purpose of what the WMF does is share the sum of all knowledge..

We could invest in the generation of energy near the location where our servers are but we could also invest in increasing our reach and invest in green energy at the same time. When we provide clean energy and target schools they will still have to pay us back including some profit.

When the total sum of generated energy is at least the amount of energy used by our servers, we provide the argument why we are not a dirty data provider. More importantly we give a boost to a world that uses green energy and by focusing where it matters most, we ensure no new dirty energy is used.

There probably are existing funds that provide such investments. When the WMF adds its weight to them and promotes it as an open investment project, many people are likely to invest in this as well making the effort mushroom.

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