The Bloom Energy Server is a "distributed power generator" that uses fuel cells to convert air and natural gas into electricity. We wrote in 2010 that the 'Bloom Boxes' are "already being used by ICT companies, but not for for mission-critical ICT applications." By mid-2012 we could report that they are used for applications ranging from television to telecom. We've updated this post with a video about e-Bay's Utah datacenter.
We are constantly on the lookout for ICT-intensive communities who appear under-engaged in global Green ICT awareness. More active participation from these communities could do much to advance ICT sustainability. We identified American higher education and global ICT4D advocates as two communities where more effective embrace of Green ICT has significant potential. Console gamers comprise another such community. This is important because research firm IHS has marked game consoles for production growth in 2014.
Location is becoming increasingly important to the sustainability of ICT facilities. We've been tracking facilities in North American and Europe which try to leverage geographic features for greener operations. Our latest examples include Apple benefiting from its Nevada (US) site's underground water and low risk of natural disasters, a satellite broadcaster favoring Wyoming's cool weather, an award-winning Norwegian data center benefiting from on-site hydro and cooling water, and a video about Iceland.
We launched Vertatique with the statistic that data centers consumes ~2% of global electricity production. We now know that the globe's broader ICT energy footprint is ~8%, the majority of which is NOT from data centers. The contribution of communications, driven by explosion of cloud computing and mobile devices, has helped drive the number higher. Here are the facts and figures.
"E-waste" and "cyber waste" describe the unwanted systems and components of our industry. Green organizations and facilities mitigate their e-waste impacts by repurposing and recycling equipment when scheduled for replacement. Despite all the focus on e-waste over the past decade, it continues to pollute communities around the world and threatens global ICT infrastuctures.
The Australian Government ICT Sustainability Plan 2010-2015 covers a wide range of Green ICT practices and should be considered by other government entities looking to adopt Green ICT practices. We will periodically look at various elements of the Australia's plan - first up are the six components of its ICT equipment procurement plan.
There are compelling reasons why the global ICT for Development (ICT4D) movement can benefit by embracing Sustainable Green ICT. A snapshot some of the purported "best" practices and other resources for ICT4D reveals little movement in this direction.
We took a look in October 2013 at five resources recently promoted on Twitter as big-picture looks at #ICT4D topics. Here's who is NOT talking about Green ICT.
Traditional ICT facilities consume as much energy cooling their gear as powering it the first place. One solution is to re-use the waste heat. Our latest example is shows that even a small data center can re-use heat.
We've regularly looked at datacenter and equipment consolidation. Consolidation can reduce resource consumption and environmental toxins by reducing energy use and equipment purchasing, yet consolidation efforts without careful implementation and appropriate safeguards can lead to catastrophic failure points. Two articles in the same week about a major American university illustrate the point.
How much gear is attached to the edges of our global ICT infrastructure? Our 2014 estimate is over 19 billion items. This up ~1 billion over 2013. The increase is driven by mobile and consumer media devices, but we are constantly adding new categories like wearable devices. We will update this table as new information comes in over the course of the year.