Microsoft Azure GreenAI Carbon-Intensity API
A Green Solution for Energy Intensive Workloads
The scientific consensus is clear. The world confronts an urgent
carbon problem. The carbon in our atmosphere has created a
blanket of gas that traps heat and is changing the world’s climate.
Already, the planet’s temperature has risen by 1 degree Celsius.
If we don’t curb emissions and temperatures continue to climb,
science tells us that the results will be catastrophic.
Read more from Brad Smith's blog
Microsoft has been carbon neutral across the world since 2012 and commits to being carbon negative by 2030. Our goal is to promote sustainable development and low-carbon business practices globally through our sustainable business practices and cloud-enabled technologies.
Up until 20 years ago, a single utility would own all the power plants and transmission lines to supply electricity for a specific region. It would be responsible to dial-up or down its supply according to the demand. However, in today’s competitive business landscape, we have an energy wholesale market to meet the demands. The market does short-term demand forecast day-ahead and allows power suppliers to come online and place bids. The market brings in plants online in order of price. The market generally brings in the lowest-emission plants first. Then every five minutes throughout the day, the market would decide which plant to run to match the supply.
Azure (AZ) customers have requested their Azure Carbon emissions footprint be available, and in response Microsoft released the Azure Sustainability Calculator. This uses yearly average emissions data to enable customers to make more informed decisions about their environmental impact. There is an opportunity to make emissions efficiency a key competitive advantage, as well as significantly reducing Azure emissions, through targeted software development.
The Carbon API exists as a wrapper on top of the WattTime API. This API will take the different WattTime endpoints (Grid, Real-Time, Historical, Forecasted) for Carbon Intensity (CI) data and associate them to AZ regions. This includes developing a dashboard to map CI data for AZ regions and provide multiple visualizations of the CI data with respect to AZ regions.