I learned and interesting fact the other day. 10% of all the electricity consumed in the United States is consumed by data centers.* That’s a lot! If you are like me, you have been using software that you do not purchase and install on your computer, rather you pay a monthly fee and sign onto it through the internet (the cloud), with the software company providing backups of your information at their data center.** Recently, I have been moving all my working files onto another server ‘on the cloud’. This way, I can access all of my information from any laptop or telephone in any part of the world, as long as I have internet access. Besides saving on paper and printing supplies, I no longer have to update/replace my ‘server’ computer or my network software, or the separate back up drive that I have to support my now one person office. In other words, I am gaining a lot of flexibility and computing power while saving lots of money on hardware and software. (Dropbox offers 2MG for FREE)***
In one of our Green Lunches, I was intrigued by Scott Hammond’s demonstration of a LED dimmer that did not have to be wired into the wall or use batteries.**** ‘How can that be?’ Kinetic energy. Simply the energy created by flipping the rocker switch creates enough energy to communicate to the receiver to turn the light on. ‘Wow,’ how can we harness that kind of energy for other things?
So, what I learned, is that even as we are reducing our energy use via conservation, recycling, and mass transit, we are increasing our energy use through the use of cloud technology. I also learned that there some ‘old fashioned’ renewable sources of energy that we can explore. We have delved into wind power, hydro power and solar power, but this is the first I have heard of kinetic energy. Am I behind the times or are we missing a simple free source of energy? Now about harnessing gravity......