Energy efficiency

Quarterly Wrap-up

Cleantech first-quarter 2014: analysis and outlook

Cleantech appears to be turning the corner after some very difficult years. Positive acquisitions are occurring and public market performance of cleantech companies highlights growth prospects at market leaders like SolarCity, SunPower, and Tesla.


The value of green HPC

High-performance computing applications can help businesses take advantage of the lower energy costs a green data center offers, no matter where it’s located.

Modular data center specialist IO files for IPO

Modular data center manufacturer IO has filed a confidential S-1 form and plans to go public in the near future. The company has made a name for itself selling fully contained data centers that take up only 462 square feet of floor space.


What the internet of things means for cleantech

We’re entering the brave new world of the internet of things, but what does that mean for cleantech? It means the possibility driving greater efficiencies in areas ranging from home appliances to the smart grid.

Meet the cloud that will keep you warm at night

AoTerra, a German company that’s shattering records for crowdfunding in that country, is a cloud provider with a difference. Its servers heat the air and water in buildings, saving everyone money and making the OpenStack-based AoCloud very green indeed.


Adam Lesser

Adam Lesser is lead IoT Analyst for Gigaom Research. Earlier he was lead researcher at Blueshift Research, a Wall Street market research firm…


Building energy management systems: overview and forecast

Although there has been a focus on energy efficiency in commercial buildings for some years, the BEMS market can still be considered nascent. The landscape of new entrants, new technologies, and new methodologies is expanding rapidly, and even well-established market leaders are finding new ways to present and market their businesses.

Quarterly Wrap-up

Cleantech fourth-quarter 2012 analysis

The fourth quarter in cleantech saw attention paid to two prominent and publicly traded companies: EV maker Tesla and newly minted public listing SolarCity. It remains a transitional period for the sector as investment declines and investors look for value investments and give money to those companies able to scale with little additional capital.

Dell wants to tune big data apps for ARM servers

Dell is donating an ARM-based server to the Apache Software Foundation so contributors can test their projects on new, energy-efficient hardware architectures. Big data projects such as Hadoop and Cassandra are low-hanging fruit, but many webscale applications likely could use them to save power.

IO raises $90M to rethink the corporate data center

IO Data Centers has raised $90 million for its suite of offerings that rethink the way data centers are built and managed. Its IO.Anywhere units are fully contained data centers in a small package, and its OS software can manage a data center from a smartphone.

7 reasons why Europe really matters to cloud computing

It’s not home to Google, Amazon or Facebook, but from plucky entrepreneurs to the world’s most-advanced computing systems, Europe has a lot more to offer the world of cloud computing and web infrastructure than might meet the eye. Here are seven reasons why it matters.

With data centers, web giants have great eco-responsibility

Much of the data center industry is upset about a recen report exposing some wasteful energy practices. However, eBay’s Dean Nelson says the data center industry isn’t perfect and it’s up to companies like his to lead the charge on bringing everyone else up to speed.


The economics of clean-data-center innovation

Around the world, data centers consume around 1.5 percent of total electricity demand, a figure that’s expected to increase significantly. Greenpeace predicts power consumption will grow 19 percent by 2013 to 31 gigawatts. To cut power and, with it, costs, tech titans like Google, Apple, and Facebook are aggressively pursuing strategies to cut electricity use by greening their data centers. But do energy-efficiency gains justify huge capital outlays? This report attempts to answer that question by looking at the ways in which companies are greening their data centers and attempting to achieve social, economic, and environmental value.


The case for low-power servers in the modern data center

How do data-center-dependent companies like Google, Amazon or Facebook reduce their power bill and, with it, their carbon footprint? The server itself could now be designed to use less power. With that possibility looming, a number of players are jumping in, from startups trying to engineer power-efficient fabrics to established chip makers like Intel that are working on lower-power processors. The race is on to see if data-center hardware can be cost-effectively implemented with a residual lowering of overall power use.

How to put more homes on an energy diet

How do you get homeowners to change their mindsets and behaviors and become more energy efficient? A new report on Wednesday says the best policies are to provide incentives at times when homeowners selling or renovating their houses.

Meet the company building AOL’s micro data centers

Elliptical Mobile Solutions is hardly a household name in the data center world, but don’t bet against it. While bigger data centers seem to be better for webscale companies such as Google and Facebook, many are happy to grow about 105 cubic feet at a time.

5 fun data center facts from the Uptime Institute

It’s a tough economy out there. That’s why some figures from the new Uptime Institute’s 2012 Data Center Industry Survey might surprise those who would expect spending on data center infrastructure to be cut to the bone. Also, cloud is big, duh.

How Intel Labs is using data to curb energy use

Intel Labs held an annual showcase in San Francisco on Tuesday and it showed off how it’s researching ways to use data to help curb energy consumption in residential homes, in offices, on factory floors and across smart cities.

California wants energy efficiency rules for game consoles, toilets

California’s per-capita energy use has remained flat for 35 years and it wants to keep that way. That’s why state regulators are now targeting gadgets such as game consoles and event toilets in an effort to set standards that will require manufactures the reduce of rate of electricity and water their products consume.

Facebook, eBay win awards for data center efficiency

eBay and Facebook are among the winners of this year’s Green Enterprise IT Awards, which the Uptime Institute doles out for advancements in the world of energy-efficient data centers. eBay won for its Project Mercury data center, while Facebook scored with its Open Compute Project.

How IO is building modular data centers for the rest of us

While webscale data center operators such as eBay are deploying custom-built data center containers designed for maximum performance and efficiency, IO Data Centers is pushing modular data centers for the rest of us. Its IO.Anywhere modules aren’t designed for HPC, but do promise flexibility.


10 ways big data changes everything

Industries like Internet search, genomics, climate research and business analytics are starting to create massive data sets — in the petabyte and exabyte range — that are requiring an entirely new set of big data tools to manage. The emergence of this so-called big data phenomenon is also fundamentally changing everything from the way companies operate to the way people interact to how the world deals with outbreaks of infectious diseases. On March 21 and 22, GigaOM is throwing an event about the future of this big data ecosystem in New York, and for the occasion, we have highlighted 10 case studies illustrating how big data is changing the world.

Vantage plants energy-efficient data center in the Valley

With its newest facility, Vantage Data Centers wants to prove that a low-power data center in Silicon Valley is not an oxymoron. Vantage’s new Santa Clara, Calif., V2 data center claims an impressive 1.12 PUE (power use efficiency) energy rating.

Whitman to kick off HP comeback tour

When HP CEO Meg Whitman addresses thousands of partners Wednesday, there will be a lot on the line. She has to convince them that the management snafus of the last two years are firmly in the past. The partners would love to believe that.

What you need to know about the 2013 energy budget

The White House sent its proposed budget for 2013 to Congress on Monday, and the plan calls for boosting funding for clean power and energy efficiency, seeks to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies and doesn’t seek additional funds for the loan guarantee program.

GigaOM’s top 10 green stories of 2011

Which stories dominated the green GigaOM clicks in 2011? This year was filled with smart thermostats, a dream of Apple getting into solar, the bankruptcy of Solyndra, the efficiency of cloud computing, Google’s green data centers and Tesla’s Model S.


Cleantech, meet connectivity: a new era of energy efficiency

The momentum right now in cleantech is as much about connectivity and how it can drive energy efficiency as it is about advancing sources of renewable energy. And as the web and mobile connectivity change our consumer experiences, the opportunities to redefine cleantech are rich, and they are already happening. This research note examines the cleantech space in that context and analyzes the car-sharing, home-energy-management and smart-grid sectors and their relevant companies to see how connectivity will play into their future endeavors. Companies mentioned in this report include RelayRides, Opower, Silver Spring Networks and Nest. For a full list of companies, and to read the full report, sign up for a free trial.

Which utilities deliver the most energy efficiency benefits?

Energy efficiency measures both reduce consumption and slow the pace of building power plants. Utilities know that, but how much are they doing to promote the idea? A report looks at 50 U.S. utilities and ranked them by the investments they have made in energy efficiency.

Serious Energy launches no money down efficiency deals

Remaking office buildings with energy-efficient equipment can cut utility bills and give some green cred. But often, building owners don’t want to pay the large upfront cost. To help fix this problem, Serious Energy is launching a no-money-down program called SeriousCapital.

Nest’s smart thermostat sold out until 2012

The iPod of thermostats is sold-out until 2012. Nest Labs, makers of the connected, smart, “learning” thermostat, say on their website that the hot thermostat is “sold out through early next year.” In the meantime, the company has closed its online store.

How long until clouds adopt extreme computing chips?

Both mobile and high performance computing are placing huge power efficiency and performance demands on chips, but the real $64,000 question is how long until such extreme computing use cases hit the server mainstream. Asked another way, how long till Amazon adopts ARM-based servers?

Inside the SuperNAP and its high-tech clouds

You might have heard of the SuperNAP data center before because of its military-grade security, more-than-400,000-square-foot footprint and roots as Enron’s attempt to build a bandwidth exchange, but the cutting-edge facility is also home to some very interesting customers.

Green building firm Project Frog raises $22M from GE, VCs

Despite the seemingly downward short-term trend for cleantech investing, corporations and investors continue to back the green building sector. On Wednesday San Francisco–based energy-efficient building company Project Frog announced that it has raised $22 million from GE and a group of investors.

Supercomputing’s problem isn’t power, it’s software

Getting to next generation systems in high performance computing has inspired technologies that we now use everyday in data centers, but as the drive for exascale computing continues, it seems ingenuity is coming to an end. But is power consumption the real hurdle for bigger systems?

Facebook engineer: Cut power by slowing hard drives

The latest idea from Facebook on how to revolutionize the data center is elegant in its simplicity: put a switch on hard-disk drives that slows their speed when their data is no longer hot. I wonder if Facebook will take up the cause and build it.

GE shows off uber-green LEED platinum data center

Achieving the ultimate in green building badges — the LEED platinum certification — is pretty rare and is particularly unusual for data centers. But on Thursday GE showed off its new LEED platinum-certified data center in Louisville, Ky. Here are some photos from the green facility.

Ocean power: Still DOA

Federal regulators canceled three ocean power project permits in California because the permit holder, located in Sonoma County, couldn’t come up with the money to carry out the projects.

How to get smarter windows without buying new ones

Dynamic windows are being manufactured by innovative companies like Soladigm and Sage. But what if you could get these smarter windows without buying a new one? A startup called US e-Chromic, which is a semi-finalist at the Cleantech Open 2011, has a plan cooking for that.

Turning a building into a solar honeycomb

Fusing solar technology with buildings is an area that tends to invite creative ideas. An intriguing design caught our attention at Intersolar in San Francisco this week: It’s a solar panel with a honeycomb structure that replaces the glass facades of a building.

Your DVR’s dirty little secret: It’s an energy hog

Set-top boxes aren’t energy-efficient, and cost U.S. residents more than $3 billion annually in energy bills, according to a new study. More importantly, about two-thirds of those energy costs come at times when no one is even watching TV or using the devices.

Big data on micro servers? You bet.

Online dating service eHarmony is using SeaMicro’s specialized Intel Atom-powered servers as the foundation of its Hadoop infrastructure, demonstrating that big data applications such as Hadoop might be a killer app for low-powered micro servers.


3 baby steps toward greener data centers

The world’s biggest Internet companies have dreamed up some innovative, high-profile ways to make their data centers greener, from Google’s piping in seawater to cool a data center in Finland to Yahoo’s designing data centers based on chicken coops that utilize the flow of outside air. But as it turns out, it’s not really the experimental, novel tech that’s going to make a big difference in terms of the overall energy-consumption reduction for the majority of the world’s data centers. It’s the low-cost, easy and just plain boring stuff that will be the most important.

JouleX gets $17M to boost data center efficiency

Atlanta-based data-center-efficiency startup JouleX has raised $17 million from Sigma Partners, Flybridge Capital Partners, Intel Capital, Target Partners and TechOperators. As energy prices rise, energy generation facilities are stretched and hyperscale becomes normal, companies like JouleX should find it easy to spread their message.

Do Cheap Power and Massive Data Centers Really Matter?

GoGrid CEO John Keagy wrote on his blog yesterday that when it comes cloud computing, things such as cheap hydroelectric power and massive-scale data centers are overrated. His theory doesn’t make sense for every cloud provider, but he does make some good points.

Google: No Magic Needed for Greener Data Centers

While Google has been at the forefront of cutting-edge green data center technology, with experimental projects like its seawater-cooled data center, Google’s big message at its second data center efficiency summit: There’s no magic involved with greener data centers.

With Sales Booming, Dell Sees a Micro Server Future

The advent of Web 2.0 and its principles of scaling out and designing to fail have brought about something of a sea change in how companies buy servers. For evidence, one needn’t look any further than Dell, which is making a killing selling micro servers.


How a Snapshot of a Green Data Center Can Be Misleading

Facebook is being praised for openly sharing information about its energy-efficient data center in Oregon that is usually kept secret. One specific efficiency metric, power usage effectiveness (PUE), is worth noting for its potential to cut Facebook’s overall energy costs. But the data center’s ultra-low PUE number is only aspect of a larger — and far more complicated — story.

For VC’s, No More Chasing Magic Batteries

When it comes to clean-energy investing 2.0, venture capitalists are beyond looking for the silver bullet — or the magic battery –- they spent the last decade hunting and hoping for. Today, VCs are more likely to invest their dollars in slightly less ambitious energy-efficiency projects.

Crossing the Chasm for Data Center Energy

There’s a significant opportunity for companies that are looking to connect the often siloed systems that manage the energy used to run servers as well as the gear used to cool, ventilate, back up and convert power for data centers.

Cisco Unveils New Cloud Data Center, Touts Efficiency

Cisco today took the covers off a new Allen, Texas, data center that will serve as the foundation for Cisco’s private cloud computing effort, which it calls Cisco Elastic IT Services. The new data center is designed for maximum efficiency and to withstand tornado winds.

Building Energy Efficiency Is a Hard Market to Crack

It’s a cliché you inevitably hear in any discussion about building energy efficiency retrofits: It’s the “low-hanging fruit” of cleantech. But the market hasn’t taken off quickly, and good money to be made will come from the commercial, rather than the residential, market.

Cleantech Officially Less Cool Than Groupon

Cleantech is losing its mojo to upstarts peddling coupons. These days, it’s not hard to find tech companies, investors and market analysts comparing cleantech to Groupon, which generated a lot of buzz when it turned down a reportedly $5-6 billion offer from Google late last year.

Cloud and Efficiency Are Driving Data Center Decisions

According to a survey by AFCOM, cloud computing is on the rise among data center operators, more than doubling since last year and expected to reach 80-90 percent in the next five years. The survey also shows that energy efficiency is driving data center decisions.

How Serious Is Intel About Pushing Atom for Servers?

Last week, Intel announced its plans to produce an Atom processor designed for use within servers, but company’s road map — which doesn’t have the server-ready Atom available until 2012 — raises the question of how serious Intel is about pushing an alternative to its flagship Xeon architecture.

OPower Ponders an Energy Device

OPower, the startup that gets homeowners to cut energy use with out in-home dashboards and gateways, is looking at home energy automation devices. What are the pros and cons of high-tech automation versus smart behavioral science?

Obama’s New Target: Saving $40B Via Energy Retrofits

President Obama, who laid out an ambitious clean energy agenda in his State of the Union speech, is spending Thursday in Pennsylvania touting a new energy efficiency plan: “Better Buildings Initiative” to save building owners $40 billion in energy costs by 2020.

Quarterly Wrap-up

Green IT’s Q4 Winners: Wind Power, Solar Power, Smart Energy

In a year that kept industry watchers on edge until the very end, greentech ended up marking its best year ever. But the good news came unevenly across sectors and classes of investment, and for some areas, such as venture capital investment, 2010’s recovery wasn’t strong enough to break records.

Investors Loved Wind, Solar, Efficiency in 2010

Investors loved the wind energy sector, and they showed it by blowing the most investment dollars that way in 2010. They also were most busy with energy efficiency deals, the number of which surpassed other cleantech categories last year, according to a U.S. market report by Peachtree Capital Advisors.

Will Cloud Save the Day for a Power-Hungry London?

Private businesses in London are bracing for power shortages during the 2012 Olympics, and it appears data centers located within the city won’t be spared, a turn of events that could have U.K. businesses turning to cloud computing.

GE’s $520M Acquisition Into Data Center Power

General Electric is grabbing a piece of the booming data center energy business, with a $520 million offer for Lineage Power Holdings, a provider of gear for the $20 billion-per-year data center and telecom power conversion industry.

10 Greentech Companies to Watch in 2011

Will 2011 bring recovery or retrenchment for the greentech industry? We’re tracking both the leaders and up-and-comers in the solar power, smart grid, biofuel, green vehicle and energy efficiency sectors, to discover the role that old-school energy industries are going to play in the greentech evolution.


Smart Energy Emerges as a Layer of Telco’s Smart Home

The broadband-enabled smart energy home has finally made some real progress and could be a crucial tool in helping consumers reduce their energy consumption and lower carbon emissions. As the market unfolds, expect service providers, from cable companies to telcos, to play a key role in helping energy management reach the masses.

Nlyte Scores $12M for Data Center Software

Menlo Park-based nlyte Software has closed a $12 million round founded on the promise for nlyte’s data center infrastructure management (DCIM) product. In an IT world dominated by discussions about server virtualization and cloud computing, however, I wonder just who is buying into the DCIM vision.

Feds Set Standards for Home Energy Audits, Loans

It’s no secret that some energy retrofits can save consumers significant money, but how to conduct those retrofits and how much should they cost are two big questions. The government’s answer: standardize the process of getting home energy audits and loans.


How to Make Cloud Computing Greener

Cost, scalability and instant access are all reasons for companies to embrace cloud computing services, but the argument that it’s a much greener option warrants further examination. Cloud computing, can deliver a more efficient use of computing power. But according to a report to be released later this month from University of Melbourne researcher Rod Tucker and his team, in some cases it consumes more energy than traditional in-office computing.

ABB Invests in On-Demand Data Center Power

Massive electrical equipment giant ABB isn’t a name commonly associated with young startups. But this morning, the company said that it’s invested a small sum through its VC arm into Valley startup Power Assure, which makes an on demand data center power service.

Best Desktop iTunes Controller: iTunes

There are many Mac applications which will sit on your desktop and display cover art as well as give some controls such as play/pause, next, etc. But since the recent release of iTunes 10, one application does this better than any other, and that’s iTunes itself.

Getting It Wrong: Americans and Energy Savings

Americans overestimate the energy savings of those actions and underestimate the energy consumption of other behaviors, such as using central air conditioning, according to a survey published in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Quarterly Wrap-up

Infrastructure Overview, Q2 2010

The first quarter of 2010 was all about established vendors making their plays in emerging fields like cloud computing, but the second quarter once again belonged to the little guys and the new guys. Almost across the board, from processors to virtualization to cloud services, relatively small vendors and startups had the market cornered on innovation and mindshare.

Daily Sprout

GE Chief Calls for Swift, Certain Climate Policy: “What’s most important for the U.S. is that we go from Copenhagen, go into…

Daily Sprout

Texas Homebuyers Go for Efficiency: “Texas is a national leader in the number of Energy Star qualified homes in the United States,…


Google: Servers Should Be More Like People

Humans might not seem naturally energy efficient — after all, your teenage son’s only got three energy states: sleep, eat and Grand Theft Auto. But we humans have actually evolved to use energy only when we need it. When we’re running around, we burn a lot; when we’re kicking back, we burn very little. And, it turns out, that efficient use of energy is something that’s actually pretty difficult to replicate in the technology world, according to a new report from Google. But even without millenia of evolution under its belt, there are a few things the tech world can do to become more efficient.

Daily Sprout

Duke Energy Gets Go-Ahead For Save-A-Watt: North Carolina utility regulators have approved Duke Energy’s (s DUK) proposal to temporarily charge residential ratepayers…


We Can Call It A Cloud, But It’s Still Hardware

Consumers and businesses are grabbing their movies, business software and computing when they want it, and storing it “in the cloud” when they don’t. Thanks to wireless networks and an increasing number of broadband-connected appliances, this means content can be accessed anywhere there’s a connection and a screen. That has led to large changes in the market for computers and cell phones, as well as in the devices themselves. However, just because data is no longer stored on a PC’s hard drive or a wall of DVDs, that doesn’t mean that it’s not stored somewhere.

Quarterly Wrap-up

Green IT Wrap-up: Q1 2009

Despite the renewal of energy tax credits and the election of a president dedicated to green jobs, first quarter cleantech investments plummeted in the face of the faltering economy. Total venture investment was down 48 percent from the previous year. By the end of the quarter, however, the stimulus package and an ambitious draft energy bill making its way through Congress appeared to be breathing a bit of life back into the sector, particularly in those areas championed by the administration: smart grid, energy and transportation.

Is Research Yahoo's Cloud Calling?

Struggling to maintain relevancy in the shadows of web-giant brethren like Amazon (s amzn) and Google (s goog), Yahoo (s yhoo) has…


Can Cloud Computing Make the Internet Greener?

The power of cloud computing can offer web companies access to a massive amount of Internet infrastructure and services on demand. But can it also make computing and the Internet more energy efficient? Some analysts are starting to think so, due to the cloud’s fundamental use of shared infrastructure, multiple-user environments and economies of scale.

Do the Clean Power Bump

Start aiming for the potholes! Engineers on both sides of the Atlantic have come up with different ways to get the cars…

U.S. Is Worst of the G8 on Climate Change

The U.S. isn’t taking aggressive enough action — or much action at all — on climate change, according to a report released…

Truth About Tip-Top

Dan Ryan has a very intelligent and coherent analysis of the whole Tip Top issue. “Many comments miss the essential point that…