Google, Intel to go green

une 14 (Xinhuanet) — Google, Intel and a number of other IT manufacturers came together to launch a project to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emission by reducing power consumption from computers in the adoption of energy-efficient computers, components and power management tools, according to media reports Wednesday.

    The goal of the initiative, which currently includes Dell, EDS, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), HP, IBM, Lenovo, Microsoft, Pacific Gas & Electric, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and more than 25 other organizations, is to cut the power consumption of computers by 50 percent by 2010.

    The plan would save an estimated 5.5 billion U.S. dollars in energy costs and would, its proponents say, increase the cost of a computer by only about 30 dollars per unit. Reduced running costs would pay for the extra outlay within a couple of years.

    Google’s Bill Weihl, head of Google’s green tech division, said as much as 80 percent of the power used by computers today is wasteful. Google has also spearheaded a fuel efficient vehicle incentive program, and its offices are environmentally friendly, including a shuttle service for employees, organic food in the company cafe, and solar panels installed throughout the corporate campus.

    Pat Gelsinger, an executive of Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group, said: “By 2010, the initiative will 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 – a significant step in reducing the emissions affecting our planet.”

    The move was widely welcomed by environmental groups. But analysts argued that the move was motivated by regulation and the need to reduce costs and that more needs to be done to reduce the total carbon footprint of electronic devices during production and disposal processes.

    Steve Prentice, the chief of research at the research company Gartner, said that it makes sense for a company such as Google to urge computer makers to develop more energy efficient machines because the cost of running a server has now exceeded the cost of buying one.

    “The reality is that when a company is running as many servers as Google does, the thing that will help their bottom line is reducing the electricity bill. This is primarily about reducing costs,” Prentice said.

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