The future is the autonomous and sustainable solar-powered websites

We see a future of renewable energy, of machines that do not pollute, of electric cars and many other beautiful things, but what will happen to our beloved websites? The best idea is to create structures that allow having self-hosted, solar-powered, off-grid websites. It’s a great and beautiful idea, but can it be truly sustainable and achievable?

In September 2018, Low-tech Magazine launched a new website that aimed to radically reduce the energy use and carbon emissions associated with accessing its content. Internet energy use is growing quickly on account of both increasing bit rates (online content gets “heavier”) and increased time spent online (especially since the arrival of mobile computing and wireless internet). The solar powered website bucks against these trends. To drop energy use far below that of the average website, we opted for a back-to-basics web design, using a static website instead of a database driven content management system. To reduce the energy use associated with the production of the solar panel and the battery, we chose a minimal set-up and accepted that the website goes off-line when the weather is bad. We have been monitoring the solar powered server for 15 months now, and we have collected data on uptime, energy use, power use, system efficiency, and visitor traffic. We also calculated how much energy was required to make the solar panel, the battery, the charge controller and the server.

How Sustainable is a Solar Powered Website? | LowTechMagazine

Wind energy, the kinetic energy of air in motion, could be also useful to create different structures and have self-hosted and off-grid websites in areas where the solar-power is not-efficient. This is an idea.

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