Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
12/31/2008
01:11 PM
Kevin Ferguson
Kevin Ferguson
Commentary
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Green Stories To Watch In 2009, Part 2

Yesterday, I wrote of five green IT stories worth following in 2009: Energy Star data centers; cap and trade, carbon offsets and RECs; federal business energy tax credits; e-waste; and corporate purchases of green IT equipment. Here are five more:

Yesterday, I wrote of five green IT stories worth following in 2009: Energy Star data centers; cap and trade, carbon offsets and RECs; federal business energy tax credits; e-waste; and corporate purchases of green IT equipment. Here are five more:Metrics: Operating under the premise that you can't manage what you can't measure, there is enormous momentum to quantify energy use in the data center and on the desktop. The efforts come from all quarters, include academic, private sector, governmental and environmental non-profits.

Here are some of those efforts:

Renewable energy legislation: In addition to the financial incentives noted in yesterday's blog, there are efforts at local, state, and federal levels to tap renewable sources. The availability of supporting legislation will have a direct impact on how quickly data center operators and, in fact, any business that operates computers go green.

At the local and state level, many programs are already under way, but their success or failure may well be pegged on how well they do in 2009. Among those programs is one in Connecticut, where more than 80 municipalities have committed to having clean energy account for at least 20% of their electricity consumption by 2010, according to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.

In May, Ohio enacted S.B. 221, under which utilities must provide 25% of their retail electricity supply from alternative energy resources by 2025, with specific annual benchmarks for renewable and solar energy resources. Customers that can contribute energy -- either through generation or demand-response -- are included in the energy act.

At the federal level, President-elect Obama has spelled out in general terms his vision for an economy resuscitated by renewable energy.

Power management: As everyone under the sun looks to go green, lots of vendors, competing with the likes of Cassatt and Verdiem, will sprout up to help them manage the power they consume. There also will be increased attention paid to demand-response service providers, like EnerNOC and green consultants. Also, expect hardware and software makers to draw attention to power management features that exist -- but are often overlooked -- on their products.

Major vendor initiatives: AMD, Cisco, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and others are looking to associate their names with going green. Marketing hype and technology innovation will accompany their efforts -- as will big bucks, as evidenced by IBM Project Big Green.

Green IT jobs: Green jobs -- and the middlemen that bring them to you -- will be front and center in 2009. A centerpiece of President-elect Obama's campaign pledge, the creation of green jobs will be one important piece in righting the listing economy. Many, among them the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Cleantech Group, and the Worldwatch Institute, remain bullish on job growth, including those in and supporting IT.

Happy New Year!

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