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Software, Hardware Firms, EPA Unite to Reduce Energy Use in Servers, Computers
In a move that could lead to more efficient data centers, a new effort aims to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by setting aggressive new targets for energy-efficient computers and components, and to promote the adoption of energy-efficient computers and power management tools worldwide.
Called the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, more than 25 organiazations have joined the effort, including Google Inc., Dell, EDS, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), HP, IBM, Lenovo, Microsoft, PG&E and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Computer and computer component manufacturers who support the initiative are committed to building energy-efficient products that meet or surpass the EPA’s Energy Star guidelines. Businesses must also commit to requiring high efficiency systems for the majority of their corporate desktop PCs and volume server purchases, and to deploy and use power management tools on desktop PCs.
“Today, the average desktop PC wastes nearly half of its power, and the average server wastes one-third of its power,” says 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’s energy efficiency benchmarks will initially follow the EPA’s Energy Star guidelines; but with increasing requirements during the next several years. For example, 2007 Energy Star specifications require that PC power supplies meet at least 80 percent minimum efficiency. The initiative would require a minimum of 90 percent by 2010. In addition, the initiative sets a higher efficiency target in the power supply for volume servers (1U and 2U single-socket and dual-socket systems): an increase from 85 percent to 92 percent efficiency by 2010. For a complete description of the requirements, see www.climatesaverscomputing.org.
The aim of the program is to 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 by 2010, according to Pat Gelsinger, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group.
“Computers have helped us make huge strides toward a more efficient world today, with reduced travel, more productivity, online transactions and more,” Gelsinger says. “But with today’s latest energy-efficient technologies, we can do even more. The commitment of the member companies that are here with us today is a firm statement to the collective resolve to make an enormous impact.”
Initial companies who intend to participate in the initiative represent both the demand and supply side of the computer industry, including computer manufacturers and chipmakers, as well as environmental groups, energy companies, retailers, government agencies and more.
The group expects to formalize its membership in coming weeks.