Cæcilie – press release

Contact: Cæcilie                                                               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tlf: xxxxxxxx
Mail: cael@itu.dk

You will pay Zuckerberg’s electricity bill

Yesterday, the Danish government decided to remove the PSO fee, which means Facebook and Apple will save 384 million annually on their datacentres’ electricity consumption[i].


According to Energinet.dk the Facebook and Apple datacentres will consume what corresponds to 10% of Denmark’s entire energy consumption and they wish the consumption comes from 100 renewable energy[ii]. With the removal of the PSO-fee the American companies will neither contribute to the investment in green energy nor pay the actual production cost of the green energy they consume[iii]. The cost is pushed to the normal consumer.

PSO stands for Public Service Obligation. It is a fee that all public and private energy consumers pay on the electricity bill to support investments in renewable energy. By removing the fee, the needed support will instead be transferred to the national budget, which means the bill lands with the regular Danish taxpayers. PSO was implemented in 1998 as a subsidy to eco-friendly power production, such as windmills, that can not compete on pure market conditions. The fee is regulated according to the market price on energy and ensures a steady price for producers of green energy[iv].

With the abolition of the PSO the electricity bill will also appear smaller for the Danish citizens, in reality it will not be, because they will pay the difference and more through their taxes. Peter Birk Sørensen, Director at Klimarådet and economic professor, states:  “Previously, the subsidy to renewable energy was paid on the electricity bill through the PSO, but now it will be paid by the normal taxpayer”.

When financing of green energy subsidies are moved to the national budget it means that the terms are renegotiated every year[v]. Green organisations critique that this creates an insecurity in regards to financing[vi] and the green political parties such as Enhedslisten and Alternativet fear that the green transition will be slowed down.

The government has a goal of 50 % renewable energy in the Danish energy system by 2030. This goal is not nearly sufficient with the increased energy consumption from the datacentres and their demand for 100 % renewable energy, which would result in other consumers primarily getting their energy from fossil fuels.[vii]


Information on PSO are gained from Energinet.dk. For further information, please contact xxxx at +45 xxxxxxx or xxx@xxx.dk


[i] Radio24syv (2017): “Apple og Facebook sparer 384 millioner kroner på afskaffet PSO-afgift”, http://www.radio24syv.dk/programmer/24syv-morgen/15801991/39:39/for-meget-sniksnak-i-folketingssalen-ny/

[ii] Radio24syv (2017): “Apple og Facebook sparer 384 millioner kroner på afskaffet PSO-afgift”, http://www.radio24syv.dk/programmer/24syv-morgen/15801991/39:39/for-meget-sniksnak-i-folketingssalen-ny/

[iii] Stated by Director  at Klimarådet and economic professor Peter Birk Sørensen in  http://www.radio24syv.dk/programmer/24syv-morgen/15801991/39:39/for-meget-sniksnak-i-folketingssalen-ny/

[iv] Energinet (2016): “Spørgsmål og svar om PSO-tariffen”, Accessed 14/03 2017 http://www.energinet.dk/DA/El/Engrosmarked/Tariffer-og-priser/PSO-tariffen/Sider/Spoergsmaal-og-svar-om-PSO-tariffen.aspx

[v] Svaneborg, Rasmus (2017): “Nye datacentre vil stå for en tredjedel af øget elforbrug i fremtiden – og det kan komme til at koste klimaet og skatteyderne dyrt”, Information, Accessed 16/03 2017, https://www.information.dk/indland/2017/01/nye-datacentre-staa-tredjedel-oeget-elforbrug-fremtiden-kan-komme-koste-klimaet-skatteyderne-dyrt

[vi] Holst, Emma (2016): “Forstå slagsmålet om PSO-afgiften”, Altinget, Accessed 16/03 2017, http://www.altinget.dk/artikel/forstaa-slagsmaalet-om-pso-afgiften

[vii] Godske, Bjørn (2017): ” Nyt Facebook datacenter i Odense giver mere sort strøm”, Ingeniøren 19. January 2017, accessed 14/03 2017, https://ing.dk/artikel/nyt-facebook-datacenter-odense-giver-mere-sort-stroem-192359


Peer review of “Critical questions for Big Data: Provocations for a cultural, technological, and scholarly phenomenon” by boyd and Crawford 2012

Summary of the article

boyd and Crawford raises six provocations for Big Data. Instead of defining Big Data in terms of volume they define Big Data as a cultural, technological and scholarly phenomenon, which involves both technology, analysis and mythology. They argue it is time to critically examine the assumptions and biases of the Big Data phenomenon and this is the aim of the provocations they put forward, which are:

  • Big Data changes the definition of knowledge
  • Claims to objectivity and accuracy are misleading
  • Bigger data are not always better data
  • Taken out of context, Big Data loses its meaning
  • Just because it is accessible does not make it ethical
  • Limited access to Big Data creates new digital divides

3 Points of critique

  1. The article is called “Critical questions for Big Data: Provocations for a cultural, technological, and scholarly phenomenon”. The title is not that precise, as the provocations are not stated as questions in the article. A more accurate title could for instance be “Six provocations for Big Data”.
  1. There is a difference between the first sentence in the abstract and the first sentence in the article, which appear odd. The era of Big Data has begun. Vs. The era of Big Data is underway. This leaves the reader confused. Has the era begun or is it underway? Choose one of them.
  1. The article starts out with two quotes, but the section below does not refer back to them or elaborate why they are important. Neither are they mentioned in the rest of the paper. I recommend using the quotes actively by commenting on them or deleting them.

“Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral . . . technology’s inter- action with the social ecology is such that technical developments frequently have environmental, social, and human consequences that go far beyond the immediate purposes of the technical devices and practices themselves”. (Kranzberg 1986, p. 545)
We need to open a discourse – where there is no effective discourse now – about the varying temporalities, spatialities and materialities that we might represent in our databases, with a view to designing for maximum flexibility and allowing as possible for an emergent polyphony and polychrony. Raw data is both an oxymoron and a bad idea; to the contrary, data should be cooked with care”. (Bowker 2005, pp. 183–184)