Beyond the Hype: Can we do better than 'carbon aware' computing?

June 3, 2024

Beyond the Hype podcast

In this episode, Oliver Cronk and David Rees from Scott Logic are joined by Hannah Smith, Director of Operations at Green Web Foundation, an organisation aiming to make the internet fossil-free by 2030. Together, they explore the potential benefits and limitations of ‘carbon aware’ computing, which involves scheduling computational workloads during times or in locations where energy sources have lower carbon emissions.

With the simplicity of ‘carbon aware’ being at odds with the complexities of managing the electricity grid, they move on to discussing ‘grid aware’. This concept goes beyond carbon intensity to take into account factors like grid stability, demand patterns, and energy sources being curtailed.

Ultimately, they consider just how marginal the gains are likely to be. With global emissions from cloud computing already exceeding those from commercial flights, is ‘carbon aware’ a distraction from getting to grips with the scale of the challenge we face?

Listen to the episode