How Green is your IT? Are you helping flood the planet?

The IT Industry is said (Gartner) to be responsible for around 2% of global CO2 emissions, about the same as the airline industry. More-over by 2020 it is predicted that ICT and consumer electronics will consume 45% of domestic power.

ICT is unique as both a major consumer of energy and an enabler of greater efficiency.

Which are you?

How many of your systems are consuming energy without generating proportionate efficiency?

The Intellect Report “High Tech:Low Carbon: the role of technology in tackling climate change” is a most timely analysis of both challenge and opportunity.

Many EURIM members were involved in the production of this report and their desire to route their efforts through Intellect was one of the main reasons why we have discouraged suggestions that others (like EURIM) should address the issues.

I believe that the result fully justifies that approach.

For example, I am one of those who thought that Green IT was just a fashionable bandwagon until I learned just how heavy was the contribution to global warming of all those massive data centres. It reinforces my prejudice in favour of moving towards decentralised back-up powered by reliable local micro-generation (e.g. a regular tidal race) save where you have access to large scale renewable and sustainable power supplies: e.g. Severn and Thames Barriers or a new generation of nuclear power stations.

This is an excellent contribution to debate and Intellect deserves every credit – as does the one “contributor” not named at the back of the report. The anonymous Intellect Programme Manager for this exercise Emma Fryer.