From the Valley of the Green Giant, Google Energy Czar Lowers the Heat
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hiring some really smart, clever engineers who were willing to take some risks, we are fairly confident that we’ve cut our energy use in half relative to where it would be if we had followed essentially industry best practices,” Weihl said. “That’s a lesson that it’s possible to do that and doesn’t require exotic technologies.”
Google, however, has been slow to share its discoveries with the industry. It began releasing some information on its data centers after the company joined with others in 2007 to launch the Climate Savers Computing Initiative with the goal of reducing global carbon dioxide emissions by 54 million tons each year. “It’s a very fine balance we need to strike between opening to the whole world and helping the world, but also retaining the competitive advantage we’ve got in the industry,” Weihl said.
As much as Google and the rest of the industry can do to save power on the back end, even more energy is wasted by personal computer users. Weihl says all of the world’s desktops and laptops consume about one and a half to two times as much energy as all the servers and data centers. Power use by computers around the world is sure to grow, because right now only 20 percent of the world has access to computers.
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