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Some of the greatest obstacles to widespread growth of renewable energy have to do with intermittency and impacts on wildlife. But new approaches to IT are beginning to address those challenges, like the ability to forecasting wind power that lets utilities reduce their dependency on backup power plants. In another project, Big Data is helping reduce the impacts of wind turbines on wildlife. Read on to learn more about how IT is having a positive impact on sustainable energy and the environment.
The experiments of today are the innovations of the future. Scientific American profiled the work of Mark Jacobson and Mark Delucchi, two scientists keen on discovering ways to power the world without fossil fuels who have pioneered plans that show how communities can get energy exclusively from renewable sources. Meanwhile, the Financial Times looks at how the MIT Media Lab is passionately developing projects that range from robo-cars to bionics. Read on to hear more about how today’s tinkerers are setting the stage for the sustainable society of tomorrow.
The green building game is changing. A recent McGraw-Hill Construction SmartMarket Report characterized the green building movement as one that has shifted from ‘push’ to ‘pull,’ as companies around the world are recognizing both the environmental and the business value of sustainable, energy efficient buildings. Similar to fuel efficiency ratings for vehicles, rating and disclosing the energy performance of buildings is becoming increasingly common around the world. For that reason, predicting a future building’s energy consumption before breaking ground is important for optimizing building designs and developing these ratings. But predicting a building’s energy consumption requires energy-use simulation on a scale that most architecture firms can’t achieve without a research lab and enormous computing power. At Microsoft, we’re working to change that.
While we’ve seen considerable advancements in renewable energy over the last decade, the challenge of renewables is how to store the energy created from the sun or wind. As TreeHugger reports, MIT researchers have developed a how to combine the production of clean energy and its storage in offshore wind turbines. Other creative uses of renewable energy can be found in EarthTechling’s article on how lightweight solar blankets can help reduce the load carried by American soldiers. Read on to learn more about renewable energy innovations.
Microsoft’s green initiatives span much farther than just our Redmond Campus and can be found across the globe. With facilities spanning across six continents, each location works hard to make its operations more green.
Our office building in Puerto Rico is a perfect example. Led by facilities manager Wilson Toro, Microsoft Operations Puerto Rico has spent the past six months carefully examining how they can improve their operations. Wilson and his team found that replacing the office’s boiler represented the best return on investment. By replacing the basic, oversized boiler with an efficient heat machine, Microsoft Puerto Rico is poised to reduce its emission considerably.