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Today in Green IT: Nuclear power fades in Germany, Japan

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Sixty thousand protestors gathered in central Tokyo this morning, demanding a total phase out of nuclear power in Japan. The protest comes days after Siemen’s CEO, Peter Loescher, told the influential German newsmagazine Der Spiegel that his company would exit the nuclear power industry, citing the “clear position of German society” on nuclear power.

Siemens built all of Germany’s existing 17 nuclear plants, and Adam Lesser, our GigaOM Pro Green IT analyst says, it’s interesting to see such a powerful corporation decide that it didn’t want to fight the zeitgeist surrounding ending dependence on nuclear power. Volkswagen invested a billion Euros in wind energy earlier this month, and it’s refreshing to see a country where the moral imperatives of its population are driving corporate behavior.

Other news and topics Adam is thinking about this Monday morn:

  • New Intel chip runs on solar power: Intel (s INTC) has debuted its “Claremont” chip, an experimental chip that allows its transistors to run at threshold voltages. Yet another sign that Intel is starting to take seriously the need to produce low power chips, and somehow find its way back into mobile.
  • Indian green IT and sustainability spend to touch $70B by 2015: A new report out from Gartner says that green IT and sustainability spending will double to $70 billion by 2015. It notes that the ICT industry is under pressure to reduce operating costs related to power, and that even home energy management is seeing some preliminary traction.
  • Solyndra flash analysis: If you missed our 15-page report on the lessons learned from Solyndra’s fall, check it out here: (subscription required).

One Response to “Today in Green IT: Nuclear power fades in Germany, Japan”

  1. Regarding “it’s refreshing to see a country where the moral imperatives of its population are driving corporate behavior”
    Yes indeed. If you want to see the polar opposite of this mindset, look at Florida.
    A local representative has admitted in a recent town hall meeting that when he joined the Florida Public Service Commission, he was told that there are various questions he cannot ask because it angers the utility companies…
    And so the governor and legislature in Tallahassee have *declined* to set a renewable energy portfolio target for the state. A majority of other states have renewable energy targets and timelines, but not Florida. It’s pretty hard to achieve goals if the leaders are not setting any.
    The “leaders” have also decided against any significant energy conservation efforts, arguing that this would cost ratepayers some money. The high cost projections for the conservation campaign were given to Tallahassee by… a utility company. No strong leadership message there.
    As a result, you may not be surprised that Florida is one of the very rare jurisdictions on the planet who is still pursuing *new* nuclear plants. Everyone else may have concluded that the costs are too great (just the approval process with the NRC is expected to cost Florida subscribers $100 million), or that new nuclear plants put the US in an awkward foreign policy position when we try to tell Iran (and other oil producers with declining reserves, later on) that we can build nuclear plants but they can’t. So for the Florida policymakers, the recent succession of nuclear close-calls around the world is nothing to worry about. Surely an eventual accident and a radioactive exclusion zone wouldn’t affect tourism.
    Our leaders are not concerned by costs, policy implications, or environmental impact. As I said, a polar opposite to those who seek to serve the public.