Photo: Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Google is deploying a new tool in its ongoing quest to eventually run its energy-thirsty data centers on carbon-free power around the clock.

The state of play: The company said in a blog post Wednesday that it's beginning to deploy a "carbon-intelligent computing platform" at its very large data centers. The goal is to align energy use to the time period when the supply is cleanest.

  • It will track at what times renewables generation is the highest for the area where the data center is located.
  • Armed with that info, they will ensure that “non-urgent” tasks — like creating new filter features on Google Photos — occur when that renewables part of the energy mix is high.

How it works: The platform compares two next-day forecasts: how the hourly carbon intensity of the grid will change during the day, and what the hourly power needs of the data center will be.

  • "[W]e use the two forecasts to optimize hour-by-hour guidelines to align compute tasks with times of low-carbon electricity supply," the company said.
  • "Results from our pilot suggest that by shifting compute jobs we can increase the amount of lower-carbon energy we consume."

Why it matters: Data centers suck a lot of power (even though they're not the carbon bomb some think).

  • Google says it already buys enough to renewable power annually to match the company's total power use.
  • But that's not the same thing as never relying on fossil generation to run data centers.
  • As we wrote about here, their data centers are still pulling from grid mixes that contain varying amounts of fossil fuels.

The intrigue: Google hopes to not only align the tasks of specific data centers with the local grid mix, but "move flexible compute tasks between different data centers, so that more work is completed when and where doing so is more environmentally friendly," the post states.

Go deeper: Google says all advertisers must prove identities moving forward

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Trump tightens screws on ByteDance to sell Tiktok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump added more pressure Friday night on China-based TikTok parent ByteDance to exit the U.S., ordering it to divest all assets related to the U.S. operation of TikTok within 90 days.

Between the lines: The order means ByteDance must be wholly disentangled from TikTok in the U.S. by November. Trump had previously ordered TikTok banned if ByteDance hadn't struck a deal within 45 days. The new order likely means ByteDance has just another 45 days after that to fully close the deal, one White House source told Axios.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 21,056,850 — Total deaths: 762,293— Total recoveries: 13,100,902Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m ET: 5,306,215 — Total deaths: 168,334 — Total recoveries: 1,796,309 — Total tests: 65,676,624Map.
  3. Health: CDC: Survivors of COVID-19 have up to three months of immunity Fauci believes normalcy will return by "the end of 2021" with vaccine — The pandemic's toll on mental health — FDA releases first-ever list of medical supplies in shortage.
  4. States: California passes 600,000 confirmed coronavirus cases.
  5. Cities: Coronavirus pandemic dims NYC's annual 9/11 Tribute in Light.
  6. Business: How small businesses got stiffed — Unemployment starts moving in the right direction.
  7. Politics: Biden signals fall strategy with new ads.

Harris: "Women are going to be a priority" in Biden administration

Sen. Kamala Harris at an event in Wilmington, Del. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In her first sit-down interview since being named Joe Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris talked about what she'll do to fight for women if elected VP, and how the Democrats are thinking about voter turnout strategies ahead of November.

What they're saying: "In a Biden-Harris administration women are going to be a priority, understanding that women have many priorities and all of them must be acknowledged," Harris told The 19th*'s Errin Haines-Whack.