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Cities were center stage at the recent UN Summit on Climate Change held in New York City. And while historically cities have been less involved at the UN level than country governments on the topic of climate change, the shift in conversation reinforced our belief that addressing climate change cannot happen without addressing our urbanizing world.
How do computers fit into ecology? According to Drew Purves, senior scientist with Microsoft Research, they can actually play a pretty interesting role in modeling life on earth. “[Humans are] doing so many things to the natural world. We need to understand at a deeper level what we do to the natural world and where the natural world might go in the future, and what we can do about it to create a more sustainable future.” Check out the video below to hear Drew’s thoughts on the computational ecology work that Microsoft Research is doing.
New developments in renewable energy are showcasing how inventive applications of technology—from buildings to software—are bringing clean energy to more communities and making it more efficient than ever before. Read on to learn more about how a former German air raid bunker has been turned into a renewable energy facility and how GE is using software to boost energy output of wind turbines by 5 percent.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized Microsoft on its list of the largest green power users; and has ranked the companyat number two of the top 100 users in the nation.
As the EPA reports, Microsoft currently purchases nearly 2.5 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually for its U.S. operations, which is enough green power to match 100 percent of Microsoft’s U.S. electricity use. Our annual purchase of green power is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of nearly 236,000 average American homes annually. In addition to ranking second on the National Top 100 list, Microsoft also ranks second on both the Fortune 500® list and the Top 30 Tech & Telecom list.
As the planet’s population races toward 9 billion by 2050, the only way to meet growing energy needs will be to use energy more efficiently. The good news is that advances in IT are making the prospect of a less energy-intensive future a little brighter, whether it’s using IT solutions and a slick interface to help German consumers get the most from their home’s solar panels or continuing to modernize the electric grid. Read on to learn how a German startup and major U.S. states are relying on innovation—technological and political—to lead the way toward a more energy efficient tomorrow.