There's a new study out today from Climate Savers Computing Initiative, the organization made up of several heavyweight high-tech companies focused on thwarting climate change and improving the energy efficiency of computing and communications technology. Those companies include the likes of CSC, Cisco, Dell, Google, HP, Intel, Juniper Networks, MIcrosoft and the non-profit group, the World Wildlife Fund. Just for grins, think about the last time you hear about all those companies as part of the same initiative. That's how serious these guys are about cutting energy consumption.
According to the benchmark study (conducted by Natural Logic), improvements and redesigns of desktop computers in particular have resulted in a decrease of 32 million to 36 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions since 2007. That's the equivalent of taking 9 coal plants offline. OR, if you prefer, approximately $2 billion in energy savings. It's also slightly more than halfway toward Climate Savers' goal to cut emissions by 54 million metric tons by June of 2011.
The association credits the industry's focus on power management strategies -- through software, policy and hardware changes -- with the big reduction.
The challenge the industry faces now may be trickier in an always-on world: Climate Savers is zeroing in on commercial and home networking technologies.
The first step will be setting new energy efficiency criteria that the coalition will develop in conjunction with both industry partners and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The specific goal of this next phase of the initiative will be to cut an additional 38 million metric tons by 2015, or $5 billion in energy cost savings.
Computers were one thing, networks are another matter entirely, especially for data centers that support global corporations. I'd be willing to be that Climate Savers will need to get some of the virtualization companies involved, as the industry studies ways to power down certain network gear when it's idle, without disrupting the flow of information across networks -- which happens 24 x 7.