GreenTouch published in May 2013 its Green Meter research study. "The analysis indicates that net energy consumption in networks can be reduced significantly—up to 90 percent—by 2020. The study takes into account new technologies, architectures and protocols, as well as the dramatic increases anticipated in communications traffic over the next decade."
I've noted that research labs are examples of ICT faculties that consume considerable energy. I've also noted communications gear giant Cisco's work on Green ICT. These two topics have come together as Cisco turns its attention to energy use in its own labs.
The NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) in Wyoming "provides advanced computing services to scientists studying a broad range of disciplines, including weather, climate, oceanography, air pollution, space weather, computational science, energy production, and carbon sequestration. It also houses a landmark data storage and archival facility that will hold, among other scientific data, unique historical climate records." It has also become of the focus our largest Twitter discussion of the 2013.
We've been tracking the growth in mega-datacenters since 2009. These faculties feature technical and operational innovation that has overturned previous notions of limits on energy efficiency. But does the focus on efficiency obscure an acceleration in ICT energy and water consumption and in CO2e production? While mega-data center operators are claiming exceptional power usage effectiveness (PUE) ratios, we're still talking about facilities that consume 20-200 MW apiece and emit a considerable carbon footprint unless powered by renewable energy. Here's our most recent look at their reported PUE and the technology behind them, including the addition of a government supercomputer center that highlights subtle issues of efficiency versus sustainability.
City governments can show Green ICT leadership. Paul Kronberger, CIO of Madison (WI-USA), a city of 270,000 residents, tells me the municipality has taken these steps to improve the sustainability of its own operations.
We are fans of wind energy - our office and in-house ICT gear are 100% powered by wind-generated electricity purchased form our local utility. We are seeing more wind-powered ICT emerge around the world - an Apple data center is the latest example.
In an ironic turn of events, the e-waste being reprocessed in China is coming home to us through imports. This includes lead1 in our food.
Wearable tech is of interest to Green ICT because it can drive miniaturization and energy efficient. Miniaturization can reduce resource consumption in the creation of ICT gear and reduce e-waste in its disposal. Miniaturization combined with energy-efficiency can enable a host of applications ranging from "smart building" sensors to compact assistive technology. Is more wearable tech all positive? We look at a number of global trends and technologies.
The Asia-Pacific region has hosted the most Green ICT conferences for three quarters in a row. At the same time, the total number of conferences continues to decline. Will there be an upsurge in Q2 2014, as happened in 2013?
The original directory of upcoming and past Green IT conferences is now the directory of Green ICT conferences. We did this because of the increasing number that include or focus on sustainability in communications.
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 example includes Apple benefiting from its Nevada (US) site's underground water and low risk of natural disasters and an award-winning Norwegian data center benefiting from on-site hydro and cooling water.