Defenition of carbon 14 dating
Professor Bitterlin added that a form of carbon known as graphene could potentially revolutionise data storage.
But even with a revolution in data storage capacity, he believes the only long-term solution to the energy problem will have to involve significant cuts to our internet use at some point in the future.
Massive as data centre energy use may already be, this is nothing to what lies in store, analysts warn.
Governments across the world, including the UK, are starting to wake up to the data centre problem at the same time as they encourage the roll-out of data-hungry broadband networks to ever remoter locations.
The roll-out is primarily designed to help small businesses, but the bulk of the faster internet access is enjoyed by consumers.
And some internet companies – such as Facebook, Google and Apple – are leading efforts to be more environmentally responsible.
The measures being taken include housing data centres in cold climates – which dramatically reduces the energy needed to cool the facilities – with a ready supply of renewable energy.