Some companies have very high energy use. The reasons for this are pretty obvious: manufacturing requires a lot of energy. Computing requires a lot of energy. Air conditioning requires a lot of energy. If you combines groups of these: you need a lot of energy. Not many companies will go to real efforts to solve their specific problems.
Lately, Google has been splashed about the news on a number of green issues: apparently, they’re involved in two major projects which will make a huge difference.
Energy Efficient Computing
On September 26, Google wrote about their progress towards a more efficient infrastructure. The fundamental idea is twofold: first, to build network infrastructures which optimize use of multiple computers to process large quantities of data, a crucial element of Google’s search success. The second aspect is incorporating "chip multiprocessing" to make individual computers more efficient by using multiple simple processors rather than very large, fast processors.
Solar Panel Installation
This project is estimated to provide approximately 30% of their peak power usage: equivalent to approximately 1,000 average California homes. (Yes, that means that the Google complex uses approximately the power of 3,333 homes.)
Google expects these projects to help them save money: and they’re quite likely right. There are undoubtedly many other companies that could benefit from the same kind of efforts.
Anybody else doing this?
There are other companies who have worked to make use of alternate energy. Whole Foods Markets has installed solar panels in several of their California stores. It’s a start, but has a long ways to go.
- American Apparel has installed a solar system on the roof of their Los Angeles factory.
- Microsoft installed a 480kW system at their Silicon Valley campus in April of 2006
Undoubtedly there are other companies installing alternate energy sources, but it’s difficult to find out who…