Conversion to Digital Television to Boost Home Energy Consumption (updated)

We wrote in 2007, "…cable subscribers who feed TV sets and VCRs directly with analog cable taps (at least 32 million HH) may have to use STBs [set-top boxes] from their cable companies. The elimination of analog cable signals could drive [another] spike in energy consumption." A 2011 NRDC report reveals that this has, unfortunately, come to pass:

Wireless Green Telecom & Smart Energy Awards

International CTIA WIRELESS 2011® Emerging Technology (E-Tech) Awards include a "Green Telecom & Smart Energy Solutions, Applications and Hardware" category. Winners are:

Specs Impact Energy Consumption of Displays

A February 2011 study commissioned by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) found:

Power use trends from 2003 to 2010 show a marked reduction, primarily in Active mode but in Standby mode as well. For LCD TVs, the Active mode power density dropped from 0.35 W/in2 in 2003 to 0.13 W/in2 in 2010, representing a 63 percent decrease; for Standby mode it dropped from a high of 6.1 mW/in2 in 2004 to 0.77 mW/in2 in 2010, representing an 87 percent decrease. In plasma TVs, for Active mode it dropped from 0.22 W/in2 in 2008 to 0.13 W/in2 in 2010, representing a 41 percent decrease; for Standby mode it dropped from 0.46 mW/in2 in 2008 to 0.07 mW/in2 in 2010, representing an 85 percent decrease.

The Death of Vampires?

Vertatique has been covering the issue of 'vampire' devices: e-gear that sucks power at night and other times when we think the gear is 'off'. As devices proliferate in the home and office, this becomes an increasing bigger energy drain, even as manufactures and regulators work to (slowly) reduce vampire consumption in some of them. New devices they say it are zero-draw solutions for one class of vampire devices: those ubiquitous bricks (chargers and adapters) into which we plug our e-gear.

UK Companies Making Green Desktops

While much of the green computer focus worldwide is on laptops, UK companies are doing interesting things with desktops.

Aleutia offers low-power units that "are designed to easily connect to solar power and work in remote places." Case studies include Africa and Central Asia.

VeryPC promotes its Broadleaf desktop as "categorised as ‘Class Leader’ by DEFRA Quick Wins", "BFR, PVC and halogen free in line with ECMA-370, the environmental standard", "the only desktop PC to be endorsed by the Energy Saving Trust Recommended scheme". (More about Green ICT product standards in Europe.)

Big Difference in Recycling Lithium Batteries

Lithium batteries are showing up in everything from personal e-gear to communications backup systems to next-gen electric cars. Will they become the next e-waste? And do you know the important distinction between recycling Li and Li-ion technology?

Amazon Starting to Offer EPEAT Ratings

The EPEAT registration system for IT products is largely used for enterprise purchasing. We've been trying to give it more visibility in the CE/SOHO worlds, so we were pleased to hear that Amazon is adding EPEAT ratings to its site. Amazon's initial implementation is a start, but could be much stronger.

Pay Attention to Those EPEAT Exceptions

One way to ensure you are purchasing the greenest gear is to buy computers and displays certified as EPEAT Gold. But some EPEAT Gold models offer options that can put specific configurations out of compliance.

More Carbon To Make the DVD Than To Get It To The Store

A comparison of two studies of physical media distribution reveals that manufacturing, not shipment to retail outlets, emits most of the carbon.

Getting Bromine and Chlorine Out of Electronics

Chlorine's oxidizing power has implicated its various forms in damage to everything from human DNA to the ozone layer. So I noted with interest a new report about the technology industry from Clean Production Action (CPA), whose mission is to "design and deliver strategic solutions for green chemicals, sustainable materials and environmentally preferable products."

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