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While the physical design of a device certainly plays an important role in how it consumes power, software can also influence power consumption based on how it is programmed to use the device’s CPU, disk and memory. Windows 8 has numerous features that help make it more energy efficient, but we are also starting to see specific applications on the Windows Store that are helping people understand and measure their Windows PC’s energy use.
Last Thursday evening our very own TJ DiCaprio was awarded the Environmental Protection Agency Individual Climate Leadership Award for the work she has done to reduce carbon pollution and address climate change as Microsoft’s Senior Director of Environmental Sustainability. TJ was recognized for the role she has played in our internal carbon fee initiative.
The hour is upon us…Earth Hour, that is. This Saturday, March 23 at 8:30PM local time, households, businesses and landmarks around the world will turn off non-essential lights and electrical appliances for Earth Hour: a global movement sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund, held every year to raise awareness about the need for greater energy efficiency and sustainability.
In 2011 the United States consumed over 97 Quadrillion (that’s 97 plus 15 zeros) Btu of energy. To give you an idea of what that means: an average computer monitor uses 921 Btu and your average refrigerator uses 2,672 Btu every hour. Nearly 87 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions (the primary driver of climate change) come from energy production and consumption, so energy efficient technology is more important today than ever before. Earth Hour is an important reminder that we should strive to reduce our energy use every day. Technology can increase energy efficiency, and at Microsoft we see information technology (IT) as a key tool that can help reduce energy consumption and address energy and environmental challenges around the world.
We often hear about solar and wind energy, but what other innovative renewable energy ideas are out there? How about research to turn carbon dioxide found in the atmosphere into useful industrial products such as fuel and chemicals or wave energy that can compete on cost with wind energy? Read on to learn more on how researchers and private-sector companies are investing in innovative energy sources to help build the next generation of renewable energy.
As the impact of climate change becomes increasingly evident (case in point: this week’s news that global carbon dioxide levels have reached 395 parts per million), technology will need to be part of an “all of the above” approach that includes innovative approaches to both energy generation and efficiency. While renewable energy gets a lot of attention (and rightfully so), there’s also a huge opportunity for developing smart buildings and smart cities that are built on the back of IT. Read on for more on how technology is making buildings smarter and how smart city spending is expected to reach $20 billion by 2020.