A host of key technology firms have lent their support to a new global initiative, spearheaded by the World Wildlife Fund, to bring about energy-efficient computing.
The Climate Savers Computing Initiative, whose members include Intel, AMD, IBM, Microsoft, Lenovo, Dell, Hewlett Packard and Google, has pledged to save $5.5bn in energy costs and reduce greenhouse emissions by 54 million tonnes per year.
The group plans to set aggressive targets for building energy efficient computers and components, as well as promote the ‘green’ approach to customers.
The initial benchmarks will follow the guidelines set out by US body the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but the goal is to exceed those within the next few years. For example, the EPA’s 2007 guidelines call for a PC’s power supply to be a minimum of 80 per cent efficient. The initiative will require a minimum of 90 per cent efficiency by 2010.
It also sets higher efficiency targets for the power supply to single and dual-socket volume servers, raising the bar from 85 per cent to 92 per cent by 2010.
“Today, the average desktop PC wastes nearly half of its power and a server one-third of its power,” said Urs Holzle, senior vice president of operations at Google. “The initiative is setting a new 90 per cent efficiency target for power supplies, which if achieved, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save in energy costs.”
Pat Gelsinger, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s digital enterprise group, said: “By 2010, the initiative will cut greenhouse gas emissions in an amount equal to removing more than 11 million cars from the road or shutting down 20 500-megawatt coal-fired power plants – a significant step in reducing the emissions affecting our planet.”
He added: “Computers have helped us make huge strides towards a more efficient world, with reduced travel, more productivity, online transactions and more. But with today’s latest energy efficient technologies, we can do even more. The commitment of the member companies is a firm statement to the collective resolve to make an impact.”
Companies that join the initiative will not only have to build greener products, but also practice what they preach. Each firm must commit to buying only high-efficiency systems for the majority of their corporate desktop PCs and volume server needs. In addition, power management tools will have to be deployed and used in all cases. The group plans to formalise its membership in the coming weeks.
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