" "THE WORLD'SMOST POWERFULSUPERCOMPUTERSAND BROADLYAVAILABLE EXISTINGTECHNOLOGIESSUCH AS CELLPHONES AND PCsALL HAVE A ROLETO PLAY IN ENABLING ACLEAN ENERGYECOSYSTEM t Microsoft, we see informationtechnology (IT) as a key tool to helpaddress the daunting energy and climatechallenges the world faces. This vision isincreasingly shared by environmental organisations,government policymakers and industry leaders. A climate report by the World Wildlife Fund noted:"There is probably no other sector where theopportunity to provide solutions with dramaticemission reduction potential is as significant" as in theIT sector. As a matter of official policy, the EuropeanCommission declared that IT "has an important role toplay in.reducing emissions and contributing tosustainable growth." To realise this potential,technology and software companies must continue toinnovate towards greener IT that consumes less energy,but also what industry experts have termed "IT forgreen." These are applications and technologysolutions that reduce energy use across all sectors ofthe economy and enable the large scale deployment ofclean energy sources. GREENER ITAdvances in both hardware and software havedramatically increased the energy efficiency ofcomputing. The leading energy-efficient laptops nowentering the market use less energy than a singlecompact fluorescent lightbulb. However, with morethan 1 billion computers on the planet and 250 millionnew laptops, desktops and servers deployed each year,the IT industry must continue improving the energyefficiency of its products. Microsoft is seeking to help minimise energy use andcarbon emissions while increasing access totechnology in many ways. First, we have improved theenergy efficiency of the Windows® operating systemwith increasingly sophisticated energy-saving featuresand are building new requirements for energyefficiency into our product design process for futureoperating systems. Windows 7 has been designed withenergy efficiency in mind. Microsoft madeimprovements to the core operating system andworked with industry partners to help improve theenergy efficiency of the whole platform. Windows 7provides both new and existing useful tools for ITprofessionals to effectively deploy power managementpolicies and troubleshoot energy efficiency problems.As more computing moves to Internet-based cloud-computing service platforms, Microsoft is payingparticular attention to addressing energy use andenvironmental impacts of our datacentres. By usingcutting-edge sensor and monitoring equipment, newhigh-efficiency container-based datacentre designsand air cooling systems that reduce the need formechanical chillers, Microsoft's new datacentresconsume 50 per cent less energy for the same level ofoutput than datacentres built just three years ago. Ournewly opened datacentre in Dublin is officiallyrecognised by the European Commission's SustainableEnergy Europe Campaign as a best practice for energyefficiency and will average 1.25 in Power UseEffectiveness (PUE), an industry metric of datacentreenergy efficiency where 1 represents optimal energyuse. (The datacentre industry average for PUE is 2;Microsoft datacentres as a whole currently average1.53.) Microsoft also helped develop the EU Code of Conductfor Data Centres, a voluntary set of guidelines designedto help organisations implement energy efficiency bestpractices and use energy-efficient equipment. AndPOWERING THE FUTURE:TRANSFORMING ENERGY USE THROUGH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY016THE NEW ECONOMYMICROSOFTA
THE NEW ECONOMY017Microsoft Research is supporting cutting-edgeresearch projects to advance energy efficiency in datacentres and other computing environments andpublicly shares their results.Even energy-efficient data centres use lots ofelectricity, but interestingly we found that the shifttowards data centre-based cloud computing can resultin significant net energy savings overall. Why? In manybusinesses today, applications often run on serversthat are typically using only about 10 per cent of theircapacity with lots of energy wasted. A new study by Accenture and the environmentalconsulting firm WSP found that when organisationsmove common business applications, like MicrosoftExchange for email, from their own servers to aMicrosoft hosted cloud, they can achieve significanttotal energy savings. Large enterprises can expect tocut their energy use per user by at least 30 per cent,and in the case of small businesses, the result is evenmore dramatic, with potential savings of up to 90 per cent. A good analogy for this is mass transit, where theenergy savings from moving thousands of peoplearound on shared infrastructure instead of single-occupancy vehicles has a significant environmentalimpact. The same is true in cloud computing. We canrealise huge economies of scale that result in realenergy savings as more services move to the cloud. IT FOR GREEN IT also has a critical role to play in enabling emissionsreductions in a wide range of sectors. The widely-citedSmart 2020 analysis conducted by McKinsey &Company and published by The Climate Group andGlobal e-Sustainability Initiative found that ITsolutions to reduce energy use in industries, buildings,transportation and homes could reduce greenhousegas emissions by 15 per cent by 2020.Microsoft sees particular potential in energy-savingapplications that take advantage of widely availableexisting technology. A recent World Wildlife Fund studyfound that increasing virtual meetings andtelecommuting using existing technology couldeliminate more than 3 billion tonnes of CO2 emissionsover the next few decades. In our own experience,Microsoft found that by encouraging employees to useour unified communications telework tools in place oftravel, we reduced travel per employee 10 per cent inour early deployments, eliminating 100 million milesof air travel and 17,000 metric tonnes of CO2emissions a year. The power of software combined with increasinglysmart appliances and inexpensive sensors can alsomake an important difference in how peopleunderstand and change their energy use at home. Weenvision easy-to-use "control panels" on homecomputers and cell phones that let people managetheir household appliances, heat and lighting from anylocation. Ultimately, intelligent control systems willoptimise home energy use based on the weatherreport, activities on your calendar and a host of otherfactors. Such systems could sense your location fromyour cell phone and begin heating or cooling yourhouse as you begin your commute home and turn onyour lights as you pull into your driveway. These demand-side IT solutions also can help enabledeployment of intermittent renewable energy sourceslike solar and wind. IT-enabled appliances combinedwith smart metres and informed consumers can shiftenergy demand from appliances and non-time-sensitive uses to periods of peak wind or solargeneration. The growth potential of plug-in electricvehicles makes the issue of demand elasticityparticularly important. Ford Motor Company ispartnering with Microsoft on technology for its newFord Focus electric vehicles that enables drivers toprogram when to recharge their vehicle, for how longand at what utility rate. Using this technology, driversor utilities can set vehicles to charge during off-peakhours when electricity is cheaper or when the grid isproviding the most renewable energy. CONCLUSIONThe world's most powerful supercomputers andbroadly available existing technologies such as cellphones and PCs all have a role to play in enabling aclean energy ecosystem. Microsoft is investing in thedevelopment of a range of business and consumersolutions and services that contribute to solving thesechallenging issues. We welcome the chance to worktogether on these solutions with our partners,customers, suppliers, policymakers and other key stakeholders. nFor more information about Microsoft's work in thisarea, please visit www.microsoft.com/environment.