Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Googling energy efficiency

Two weeks ago, VIA Technologies was touting the benefits of its carbon-free computer processor. Today, Google weighed in with a plan for improving energy efficiency in computers. This morning at the Intel Developers’ Forum, Google’s Luiz Barroso urged the PC industry to modify the way computers suck up electricity – Google says some “not particularly challenging” modifications could cut computer energy waste from 30-45 cent to around 10 percent.

The idea may have a familiar ring to some in the electric utility industry. The 80 Plus coalition – which includes Southern California Edison, NSTAR, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Efficiency Vermont, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, Pacific Gas & Electric, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, National Grid, Xcel, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and Western Massachusetts Electric – is already trying to encourage manufacturers to adopt more energy-efficient computer power supplies.

Here’s an interesting note: According to EPRI, computer power supplies currently consume about 2 percent of all U.S. electricity. That’s just slightly less than amount of U.S. electricity that comes from oil generation.


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