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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.
From recycling on our Las Colinas Campus in Texas and fighting wildfires in Greece, to supporting green building in Italy and reducing our carbon footprintin Puerto Rico, we’re proud of the work Microsoft does to reduce the impact of its operations and products and drive responsible environmental leadership around the world. And we’re excited to add the achievements of another Microsoft team to this list.
In Japan we were recently recognized by the MM Research Institute for our commitment to green IT through our Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher (MAR) Program. Over the past three years our MAR program has led to a significant increase of refurbished PC sales in Japan. Our MAR Program not only diverts e-waste from landfills, but it also increases access to information by providing affordable technology solutions around the country.
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.
Nearly 70 percent of all electricity in the United States goes toward building operations—heating and cooling systems, lighting, ventilation and plug loads—and over 80 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the world come from buildings. Researchers in the “living lab” at Carnegie Mellon’s Intelligent Workplace are working to determine how they can use data to address some of these problems. They’re exploring how to give people who work in buildings a comfortable environment while using the least possible energy, how to make people accountable for their own energy footprints, and how technology can assist in that journey.
Solar energy is taking off in Japan. In fact, last year nearly 3 GW of photovoltaics were installed across the country. The country’s tight power supply and demand situation—the vast majority of nuclear generation was taken offline following the Fukushima disaster—has made managing energy generation a very important issue. That’s one reason why the town of Nichinan in Hino-gun, Tottori Prefecture, has turned to the Windows Azure cloud service as part of the energy management system for its new solar power station.
Since the Fukushima disaster in 2011, Japan has doubled down on efforts to expand the country’s renewable energy production. Before the earthquake and tsunami critically damaged the nuclear power plant at Fukushima, Japan received as much as 30 percent of its energy from nuclear power and planned to expand nuclear generation to 50 percent of the country’s energy needs.