Greening Geographical Load Balancing

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Energy expenditure has become a significant fraction of data center operating costs. Recently, "Geographical load balancing" has been suggested to reduce energy cost by exploiting the electricity price differences across regions. However, this reduction of cost can paradoxically increase total energy use. This paper explores whether the geographical diversity of Internet-scale systems can additionally be used to provide environmental gains. Specifically, the authors explore whether geographical load balancing can encourage use of "Green" renewable energy and reduce use of "Brown" fossil fuel energy.