Greening the computer …

Most people are unaware just how many kilowatt hours their computers burn and how many pounds of CO2 they help pump into the atmosphere. Interested in learning about this, there is no better place to start than Michael BlueJay’s Saving Electricity site.  

Reducing energy use when you turn on your computer looks like it is going to get much, much easier.  Earlier today, Climate Savers smart computing was announced at the Google campus.  This initiative targets a 50% reduction in computer electricity usage by 2010.

From the press release

Intel Corporation and Google Inc. joined with Dell, EDS, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), HP, IBM, Lenovo, Microsoft, PG&E, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and more than 25 additional organizations today announced the Climate Savers Computing Initiative ( The goal of the new broad-based environmental effort is to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by setting aggressive new targets for energy-efficient computers and components, and promoting the adoption of energy-efficient computers and power management tools worldwide.

“Today, the average desktop PC wastes nearly half of its power, and the average server wastes one-third of its power,” said Urs Hölzle, senior vice president, Operations & Google Fellow. “The Climate Savers Computing Initiative is setting a new 90 percent efficiency target for power supplies, which if achieved, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million tons per year — and save more than $5.5 billion in energy costs.

The initiative is promising tools to help users reduce electricity use.  And, they make the case for investing to cut that electricity use by 50 percent …

Even at modestly higher prices (about $30 per system), more efficient computers will pay for themselves in reduced energy costs. It’s a win-win situation for you and for the environment.

For example, a savings of just 20–30 watts in power consumption translates to a savings of $7.20 per year in direct energy costs at a price of $0.12/kWh for electricity. In an air-conditioned home, the total savings increases to approximately $10/year, which means the high-efficiency system will pay for itself in 2–3 years. Systems that remain turned on all the time typically pay for themselves within the first year of use. …

Reducing the power consumption of PCs and servers has secondary benefits throughout the larger community. It reduces electrical and air-conditioning loads in office buildings, data centers and homes, thus reducing the strain on regional generation facilities and the electrical grid. Last but not least, it reduces emissions of greenhouse gases.

The Climate Savers smart computing initiative looks like a serious effort to provide a path toward more energy efficient, greener computing … A path toward greener blogging …


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