1. Articles in category: Wind

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    1. Hydrogen-Powered Data Centers?

      Hydrogen-Powered Data Centers?

      Although hydrogen generally doesn’t come up in a discussion of alternative energy sources, it is a topic relevant to cleaner energy use. So, what’s the difference, and what is hydrogen’s potential role in the data center? Apple, for instance—in addition to building a 20 megawatt solar farm—is also planning a large hydrogen fuel cell project at its Maiden, North Carolina, facility. Can hydrogen sate the data center industry’s ever growing power appetite? Hydrogen: A Storage Medium To get a good idea of the basic properties of hydrogen, just think of the Hindenburg: the giant German airship (dirigible) that plunged to the Earth in flames in 1937. The airship gained its lift from hydrogen gas: a very light (i.e., not dense), inflammable gas. Although hydrogen is plentiful (think water, hydrocarbons and so on), it is seldom found in its diatomic elemental form (H2). So ...

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      Mentions: Apple
    2. Top 10 Phat Startups of 2012

      Top 10 Phat Startups of 2012

      There’s nothing wrong with making phone apps or mobile games. But Jamie Goldstein thinks that startups — and their backers — should attack bigger, meatier problems. So, while many people talk up the virtues of lean startups, Goldstein thinks it’s time to focus on companies willing to take big risk — and it is risky to attack big problems. These companies are what Goldstein, a general partner at North Bridge Venture Partners, calls Phat startups. 

      Here are Goldstein’s Top 10 Phat Startups in no particular order. (Full disclosure: five of the 10 are North Bridge affiliated companies and they’ve been designated with NBVP.)

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      Mentions: Google MIT
    3. It’s not easy being green: Data center edition

      It’s not easy being green: Data center edition

      Building sustainable data centers is hard — especially if you’re trying to do it in office space in Houston. Plus, the idea of operating some kind of power-generation plant for offering renewable energy such as solar or biogas is a scary prospect for data center operators. These were among the key takeaways (along with a few less-obvious lessons) from a panel on sustainable data centers at the Open Compute Summit held today in San Antonio, Texas.

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      Mentions: Apple Intel Google
    4. EasyStreet Keeps Its Green Data Center Trouble-Free With VYCON Clean Energy ...

      EasyStreet Keeps Its Green Data Center Trouble-Free With VYCON Clean Energy ...

      Located in the beautiful Northwest—one of the greenest locales in North America—cloud, managed services and colocation provider EasyStreet Online Services, Inc., understands the need to make its data center operations as “green” as possible. Using wind power and flywheel energy storage, EasyStreet has a long-standing green commitment and seized the opportunity to be a beacon of how to build energy-efficient data centers. Situated in Beaverton, Oregon, EasyStreet recently built a new SAS 70 (the Statement on Auditing Standards No. 70) Type II audited data center and also finished an energy-saving retrofit to its first data center. EasyStreet buys 100 percent renewable power offsets for both data centers as part of the Portland General Electric Clean Wind Program. “Three years ago we started buying wind offset credits for our first data center.

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    5. Apple slaps back at Greenpeace for dirty-cloud report

      Apple slaps back at Greenpeace for dirty-cloud report

      A day after being criticized by Greenpeace for its energy practices, Apple said Greenpeace's estimates for power use at the company's latest data center are much too high. Apple said that its data center now under construction in North Carolina will use about 20 megawatts at full capacity. Greenpeace put the estimate at 100 megawatts. Greenpeace gave Apple, Amazon, and other companies low marks for locating their data centers in areas that rely heavily on coal and "dangerous nuclear." Those companies also scored lower than competitors, including Google and Yahoo, because they disclose less information on energy use. Before publishing its report yesterday, Greenpeace shared its estimate for the power Apple's North Carolina power plant would use based on the size of the investment and size of the facility. Apple (and Amazon) told Greenpeace the number was incorrect but didn't offer a more accurate number.

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    6. Microsoft Wants Data Centres To Power Themselves

      Microsoft Wants Data Centres To Power Themselves

      Microsoft wants to change how the industry powers data centres by integrating them with full-scale power plants, two company executives wrote in a blog post yesterday. According to Christian Belady, general manager of data centre services, and Vijay Gill, senior director of network engineering, data centres of the future will feature renewable power generation on the premises, completely eliminating transmission losses. Data into energy Today, Microsoft’s cloud supports more than one billion customers and 20 million businesses in 76 countries. Its data centres are powered by one of the world’s largest fibre optic backbones, providing more than 3.5 terabits per second of capacity to more than 1200 networks.

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      Mentions: Microsoft Corp
    7. Amazon, Microsoft low on Greenpeace clean-energy 'cloud' index

      Amazon, Microsoft low on Greenpeace clean-energy 'cloud' index

      Greenpeace is releasing today its ratings on how clean or dirty tech companies' clouds are, and among those it dings are two local giants: Amazon.com and Microsoft. "Cloud" refers to storing data and applications on remote servers and data centers, which users can access through the Internet. That's in contrast with the more traditional method of storage in a company's own servers or mainframes. Greenpeace's report looks at 14 big tech companies' data centers and estimates how much power they need, as well as what type of energy — "clean" or "dirty" — is used to supply that power. The two main sources of dirty energy Greenpeace listed are coal and nuclear.

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    8. Microsoft ‘Data Plants’ to Combine Servers & Power

      Microsoft ‘Data Plants’ to Combine Servers & Power

      Microsoft is planning to bring together data centers and renewable power generation, and will announce details of its initiative this week. The company say its vision for “data plants” will break new ground in integrating electricity and computing. “We have already invested millions in research in this area,” Microsoft’s Christian Belady and Vijay Gill write in a blog post today that previews the new strategy. They predict the evolution of Microsoft’s data centers will “take sustainability to new levels with other side benefits in terms of reliability and the ability of using waste gases.”

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    9. Top 5 Data Center Stories, Week of March 17th

      Top 5 Data Center Stories, Week of March 17th

      For your weekend reading, here’s a recap of five noteworthy stories that appeared on Data Center Knowledge this past week. Enjoy! Estimate: Amazon Cloud Backed by 450,000 Servers – How many servers does it take to power Amazon’s huge cloud computing operation? Like many large Internet companies, Amazon doesn’t disclose details of its infrastructure, including how many servers it uses. But a researcher estimates that Amazon Web Services is using at least 454,400 servers in seven data center hubs around the globe.

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    10. Google says industry should pool resources to green data centers

      Google says industry should pool resources to green data centers

      Google has one of the largest but also one of the greenest data center infrastructures among the world’s companies. While it’s easy to brush this fact off by saying Google can do it because it has the resources and the scale that’s necessary, it does not mean smaller companies are powerless to make a meaningful dent in the industry’s impact on the environment.

      This is according to Joe Kava, senior director of data centers at Google. During his keynote address at theDatacenterDynamics conference in New York CityTuesday, Kava called on the data center industry to band together to make wholesale changes to the way its energy use is affecting the planet.

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      Mentions: Google
    11. ‘Energy Park’ Proposed at Nexus of Fiber, Power

      ‘Energy Park’ Proposed at Nexus of Fiber, Power

      With a growing focus on harnessing renewable energy to power huge computing clouds, will data center operators get into the energy business? Or will utilities entice cloud operators to build data centers adjacent to energy hubs?

      Developer Craig Harrison of Harrison Resource Corp. envisions a project that brings together the ingredients to support either scenario. Working with IDC Architects/CH2M Hill, Harrison has proposed an “energy park” on 644 acres of land near the Colorado-Wyoming border, at the intersection of key fiber, power and natural gas infrastructure.

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    12. Microsoft To Expand Its Dublin Data Centre To Support Growing Demand For Its Cloud Services

      Microsoft To Expand Its Dublin Data Centre To Support Growing Demand For Its Cloud Services

      Microsoft today announced that it is investing an additional US$130 million to expand its data centre located in Dublin, Ireland. This investment builds on the original $500m investment Microsoft has already made in the Dublin data centre, which has been operational since July 2009, providing computing capacity to customers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. During a visit to Dublin, Peter Klein, Chief Financial Officer, Microsoft Corporation said “This investment shows where we are placing our bets for the future. As customers embrace Microsoft cloud services such as Office 365, Windows Live, Xbox Live, Bing and the Windows Azure platform, we are investing in regional cloud infrastructure to meet their needs."

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    13. DC Power Hits The High Seas

      DC Power Hits The High Seas

      The Renaissance in direct current (DC) took another step forward today asABB, the Swiss-Swedish electrical equipment conglomerate, announced it will collaborate with Myklebusthaug Management to build a ship powered by a DC grid.

      The ship’s grid will essentially transfer electrical power between the thrusters, propulsion drives, battery packs and other appliances on the ship in DC instead of with AC circuits.

      Why use a DC grid to link all of these things together? A vast number of appliances and electronic devices—computers, motors, sensors–actually natively run on DC. Solar modules and fuel cells also generate DC power too.

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      Mentions: Forbes
    14. Wind Energy Gasping for Air

      Wind Energy Gasping for Air

      Government incentives and state mandates are allowing green energy to sprout in certain places. But the possible removal of some of those stimulants could cause the industry to begin gasping for air. Fiscal austerity is one cause. But so too is the growing skepticism of wind and solar energy and its variable nature. Part of the discussion comes down to the age-old question as to whether government ought to be in the business of picking winners and losers. If wind and solar are competitive, they would make their way into markets, say free market thinkers. The flip-side of that is that the public is demanding cleaner energy and it is therefore the government’s role to motivate such development through the use of environmental laws and tax breaks.

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    15. Pictures: A Rare Look Inside China's Energy Machine

      Pictures: A Rare Look Inside China's Energy Machine

      A photographer gains an inside look at China’s massive power complex, and at efforts by the world’s largest energy consumer to spur cleaner future growth.

      China's energy use, production, and ambitions are best captured by superlatives: The country is the world's largest energy consumer, and leading source of greenhouse gas emissions.

      To power its tremendous economic growth, China has called on every fuel, every technology. It is the largest producer of coal and its greatest consumer, and yet China has more nuclear reactors under construction than any other nation. Its growing appetite for oil has kept gasoline prices high around the globe. And yet China's commitment to wind and solar power is so outsized that its young industries are now among the largest in the world.

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    16. Green Energy Profit Crash Deters New CEOs

      Green Energy Profit Crash Deters New CEOs

      Renewable energy companies are losing their allure with top executives after profits and stock prices collapsed across the industry, making it more difficult for boards to replace underperforming managers. First Solar Inc., the biggest U.S. solar company, ousted its chief executive officer in October and is still seeking a replacement. At Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the largest turbine maker, the chairman and finance director are leaving after the company cut sales forecasts twice in three months, and CEO Ditlev Engel said his own job is safe.

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      Mentions: Barack Obama
    17. Google Tops Greenpeace's Cool IT Rankings

      Google Tops Greenpeace's Cool IT Rankings

      Not that Google necessarily needs the acclaim, but Google has another reason today to gloat. It was just ranked as the greenest tech company by Greenpeace in its latest edition of its Cool IT Leaderboard. This time, Google "wrested control" of the top spot from Cisco, which last took the lead in December 2010's list and placed second this time around. Ericsson and Fujitsu tied for third place. IBM and HP round out the top 10 at ninth and tenth place, respectively. Key to Google's victory is transparency, at least when it comes to the environmental impact of its IT operations. Greenpeace's Gary Cook noted the following on the organization's blog: "Google is way ahead on climate solutions and energy impacts, thanks to its disclosure of its energy footprint, and for providing its impressively detailed mitigation plan for achieving emissions reductions."

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    18. California Reveals Price It Pays For Renewable Energy

      California Reveals Price It Pays For Renewable Energy

      California has one of the nation’s most ambitious renewable energy mandates – 33% of its electricity must be carbon free by 2020 – yet the price of that power had long remain locked in a black box, kept confidential by state regulators. Not any longer. Forced by a new law to publish the electricity rates of utility contracts it has approved, the California Public Utilities Commission on Friday issued a report detailing what green energy costs consumers.

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    19. Santander to build £100m data centre near Leicester

      Banking giant, which acquired Alliance & Leicester in 2008, commissions construction firm to build new 320,000 square foot data centre facility Santander, the Spanish-owned banking giant, has signed a contract worth over £100 million to build a new data centre near the village of Narborough, Leicestershire. The company has commissioned Interior Services Group, a construction firm whose previous projects include London's Olympic Velodrome, to build two identical facilities, each with over 160,000 square feet of floor space, in an area that is being developed as a business park.

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    20. Will our plugged-in planet have a green or black future?

      Will our plugged-in planet have a green or black future?

      Chances are the Internet has changed something about your life. How you shop. How you stay in touch with school buddies or look for a job.

      But has it made you greener? And will using the Internet more change your wear and tear on the planet?

      The short answer is that the Internet could save energy, if not necessarily Mother Earth.

      The more interesting answer comes in a longer conversation short on absolutes and peppered with unintended consequences.

      In Kansas City, perhaps as much as anywhere in America, that discussion could become ever more profound. If Google Inc. succeeds with plans to blanket the market in lightning-fast Internet hookups - its service will make its debut in some neighborhoods this year - the change could be transformational.

      We'll have access at home to Internet fast enough to download the city library's entire collection every minute. Speeds like that, Google hopes ...

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    21. 'Big Data' Creates Big Opportunities

      'Big Data' Creates Big Opportunities
      While nearly every device is getting smaller and more efficient, information is getting much bigger and unwieldy. Billions of bits of data are streaming in from everywhere: buildings, vehicles, manufacturers, warehouses, government agencies, credit card transactions, traffic signals, the electric grid, and just about anything else that is connected -- wired or wirelessly -- to something else. This "internet of things," as it's been dubbed, already consists of a trillion connected devices, and it's growing exponentially.
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  1. Categories

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