by Mazin Yousif, PhD
CEO, Avirtec Corporation and chair of the ERCIM Advisory Committee
After years of token recognition, green Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is beginning to gain significant traction. In fact, the association of ‘greenness’ with technology has become so fashionable that companies are now trying to ‘out-green’ each other. The main catalyst for this change is the realization that energy consumption is growing at a staggering rate, far beyond that for which we have prepared. The corollary for ICT is that as an industry, it is responsible for significant environmental impact. For example, it is not uncommon for newly constructed data centres to consume more power than the cities they are located in, forcing data centre deployment decisions to be driven by the availability of either cheap electrical power or a natural means of cooling (eg data centres are being built in Iceland for its low average ambient temperatures). Further, electrical bills to power ICT infrastructure are reaching billions of US dollars, and represent a big percentage of the operational expenses of ICT.