I have been for now ten years in daily contact with computers. So when 40 companies of this industry plan to work on producing more efficient hardware, I have to mention the initiative.
The goal of the new Climate Savers Computing Initiative (CSCI) is to increase the energy efficiency of computers and servers in order to consume less energy for the same calculation power and use.
The CSCI comprises 40 large companies like Google, Intel, AMD, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, or Microsoft as well as the WWF or the US Environment protection Agency (EPA).
Indeed, according to the CSCI’s homepage :
Believe it or not, the average desktop PC wastes nearly half the power delivered to it. Half ! This wasted electricity unnecessarily increases the cost of powering a computer, and it also increases the emission of greenhouse gases.
Improving the energy efficiency of computers is a cost-effective way to reduce electricity consumption and the emission of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
The Climate Savers Computing Initiative brings together industry, consumers and conservation organizations to significantly increase the energy efficiency of computers and servers.
At that point, you might ask how much greenhouse gases emissions this initiative might save. Well according to the CSCI, it could decrease the global emissions of carbon dioxide by 54 million tons per year by 2010.
The companies do not want the consumers to pay the price of this increased efficiency and will pay themselves these costs. In any case, if they were to change their minds, the additional costs will be paid back in a year as we use those new computers and their decreased electricity bills.
According to the article by notre-planete.info, there will be a billion computers in the world in 2008 and two billions in 2015 ( in a business as usual scenario ). This shows the importance of improving the efficiency of these machines we need at home, at work or at school.
The article concludes by stating that the increased efficiency won’t be sufficient to counter the increase of units, as it is the case with the automotive industry.
Personally, I think it is a good think that companies which are opposing themselves in their respective markets ( like Intel and AMD ) team up in order to decrease greenhouse gases emissions worldwide.
But of course, this is not because we will have more power efficient computers that we won’t have to turn them off when we stop using them. Albeit I don’t have any precise data, I am sure that worldwide, most computers aren’t switched off at nights. The sleep mode is a fine thing, but switching off completely a computer is much better in terms of energy saving.