Update: Google, Intel join in green IT initiative

Posted by Mark Raby

Mountain View (CA) - Google, Intel, and a handful of other tech companies have come together to launch the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, a project to reduce power consumption from computers.

The CSCI group, which also includes Dell, HP, IBM, Lenovo, and Microsoft, will set goals for hardware makers to reduce output.  They also plan to create new software tools that help existing computers to manage power consumption.

Google's Bill Weihl, head of Google's green tech division, said that as much as 80% of the power used by computers today is wasteful.  Google has also spearheaded a fuel efficient vehicle incentive program, and its offices are environmentally friendly, including a shuttle service for employees, organic food in the company cafe, and solar panels installed throughout the corporate campus.

It's somewhat interesting that such a steward for green technology would come from a company that exists almost exclusively in the digital world, and really has no reason to worry about greenhouse gas emissions.

Google says the CSCI program, which would mandate a "90% efficiency" requirement, would cut energy costs by $5.5 billion per year, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million tons.

The CSCI will follow guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency, and will increase restrictions every year.  By 2010, the organization says it will be able to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions so much that it would be equivalent to shutting down 20 mid-sized coal power plants.