Wednesday, June 13, 2007

"What's In It For Me?" Works...

Sergey and Larry are proving once again that capitalism can save the world.

The Google Guys are teaming up with Intel to launch a new program called the "Climate Savers Computing Initiative," which will alter specs for personal computers to ensure that they are 90% energy efficient by 2010. The EPA’s Energy Star standard currently is 80%.

Because Google doesn’t make computers, they have had to build a coalition that includes Intel, HP, Dell, Microsoft, etc.—all the heavyweights-- not to mention the EPA and a variety of environmental groups.

By Google’s estimates, the program will cut 54 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually and save $5.5 billion in annual electricity costs.

Here’s the kicker (according to a Reuters report):

“Higher efficiency will raise the price of a personal computer by $20 and a server by $30, said Pat Gelsinger, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group, adding that more efficient systems would pay for themselves in lower energy costs.

Shipments of personal computers should rise 12.2 percent this year to 256.7 million as customers buy more laptop PCs, market researcher IDC said in a report, increasing its forecast from an earlier 11.1 percent.”

If I’m doing the math right, PC’s are going to cost $20 more, and there are going to be 256 million more PC’s shipped this year. 256 million x $20 = $5.1 billion.

$5.1 billion sounds awfully close (in the grand scheme of things) to the $5.5 billion Google claims is going to be saved in energy costs.

So basically, this initiative—if the numbers are even close to accurate—will simply transfer $5 billion from the energy companies to Google, Intel, Microsoft, and the PC makers. It’s a shrewd business move that carries the added environmental benefit of removing 54 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere.

Which just goes to show, capitalism can save the world.


Google, Intel launch energy efficiency program [Reuters]