The Green Woz


wozniak1.jpgFor Apple (AAPL) co-founder Steve Wozniak, well-designed computers are like green buildings: it’s all about efficiency. That was one of the messages that came from Wozniak during an onstage interview at the West Coast Green conference in San Francisco on Thursday.

Think Wozniak and green, and his $700 Prius speeding ticket or his love of the eco-friendly segway might spring to mind. Wozniak’s early computer designs, made with little money and fewer parts, are actually an accidental example of his first green work, he pointed out during the interview.

Nowadays he’s also a budding eco building enthusiast and says he likes the idea of building his own earth-friendly home. And he’s actually serious about it — check out his green home plans here.

When asked what he thought the worst green technology idea was, at first Wozniak said there were so many green tech ideas out there that he couldn’t say or even compare. But in true Wozniak form, he ended with a riff on how although the Tesla is electric and therefore not supposed to pollute, it connects to the energy grid, which is largely powered by coal. Well put.


Jim Beyer

Woz shouldn’t have said the Tesla Roadster is problematic because it makes use of coal-fired electricity, as we can find other sources of electricity, including solar and wind power.

Woz should have said the Tesla Roadster is problematic because it isn’t a plug-in hybrid, so more than half of its cost (in extra batteries) ends up being utilized only a few percent of the time (in long trips).

CleanTech News

Happy to find this piece on CleanTech News… Woz, the great one… I have alot of respect for this guy. He’s done amazing things in the computer industry and if he continues in others, eg the design or construction industry, he’s sure to make a great impact.


I don’t know if Woz’s remarks on the Tesla are well put. More like offputting. The idea with the Tesla is not to consider it in isolation, but to consider it in conjunction with other renewable technologies.

Imagine: you work at Google and drive a Tesla. You take advantage of California’s solar incentives, put a nice solar array on your home (in addition to the other smart design things), and you plug in your Tesla at night. Use thermal energy storage or whatever technology works best to use any extra solar surplus to charge at night. When you go to work, you get Google to offer plugs to go with the solar array in the parking lot. That way, you’re covered by solar on both ends. So, to the extent that Tesla drivers can take advantage of these other technologies, it’s not that bad of an idea. It’s part of the overall scheme.

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