Thursday, 26 April 2012

Will the ICT sector drive the deployment of renewable sources of energy ?

According to the Greenpeace's report "Make IT Green",  2010 has been touted by many in the ICT sector as the ‘Year of the Cloud’. While this is likely a prediction that will be repeated in subsequent years, the arrival of the iPad and growth in netbooks and other tablet computers, the launch of Microsoft’s Azure cloud services for business, and the launch of the Google phone and the proliferation of mobile cloud applications are compelling signs of a movement towards cloud-based computing within the business sector and public consciousness in a way never seen before.

If cloud providers want to provide a truly green and renewable cloud, they must use their power and influence to not only drive investments near renewable energy sources, but also become involved in setting the policies that will drive rapid deployment of renewable electricity generation economy-wide, and place greater R&D into storage devices that will deliver electricity from renewable sources 24/7. The potential of ICT technologies and cloud computing to drive low-carbon economic growth underscore the importance of building cloud infrastructure in places powered by clean renewable energy. Companies like Facebook, Google, and other large players in the cloud computing market must advocate for policy change at the local, national and international levels to ensure that, as their appetite for energy increases, so does the supply of renewable energy.

It is clear that as the energy demand of the cloud grows, the supply of renewable energy must also keep pace. Additionally, because of the unique opportunities provided to the ICT sector in a carbon- constrained world, the industry as a whole should be advocating for strong policies that result in economy-wide emissions reductions. Among prime concern is priority grid access for renewable sources of energy. The Greenpeace’s Energy [R]evolution Scenario report demonstrates the ICT sector holds many of the keys to reaching our climate goals by innovating solutions to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency. Technologies that enable smart grids, zero emissions buildings, and more efficient transport systems are central to efforts to combat climate change.

The European project e-Jobs Observatory supports and promotes Green IT node (GRIN-CH project) that aims to identify competences and skills for Green Jobs and mapping them with EQF/eCF in accordance with market needs to build guidelines for developing/setting-up further vocational training measures for Green Jobs. The expected impact will allow for comparable skills sets for these professions of the future which supports the European labour market and thus, the employability of professionals while at the same time contributing to one of the major challenges of Europe 2020.

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