This weekend after several draft releases our book, on how IT can be used to build a Low-Carbon Society, is officially published and can be downloaded.
The last months, during writing this chapter, a lot of things happened in the IT arena. Initiatives and discussions on the technical or ‘micro’ level took place such as getting unity in measuring energy usage, initiatives to place data centers at locations with alternative energy supply (geo-thermal, wind) to get a near zero carbon footprint data center, alternative designs such as containerized data center design or nano data centers. But also on the economical or ‘macro’ level their is some movement. Carbon legislation and the use of Carbon Cap and Trade mechanisms is now high on the agenda. Carbon legislation will definitively have a huge impact on our behavior and consumption of energy sources.
Writing and compiling a collaborative international book on the topic of Greening IT with such great editors like Adrian, Irene and John was very inspiring.
Hopefully this book with wonderful contributions of my fellow writers, on very different aspects of Greening IT, will inspire people to take action by making use of the great potential information technology has for making society greener.
Best regards Rien
The chapter “Why Green IT is Hard” is my personal contribution to this book. To give you some idea, here is the abstract and a word cloud:
Why Green IT is Hard
- An Economic Perspective -
According to the common view, Green IT comes down to implementing technical measures. The idea is that, given better power management of equipment in the workspace (such as laptops and pc’s), more efficient power usage of servers, storage and network components, virtualization of servers, better power and cooling management in data centers, the problems can be solved. But is this really true? The reason IT is not green at this moment is at least as much due to perverse incentives. Green IT is about power and money, about raising barriers to trade, segmenting markets and differentiating products. Many of the problems can be explained more clearly and convincingly using the language of economics: asymmetric information, moral hazard, switching and transaction costs and innovation. Green IT is not a technical problem but an economical problem to be solved.