Leading tech competitors bury the hatchet to improve energy efficiency

Hold onto your geek hat: 11 leading tech companies have partnered to reduce the energy used by servers and data centers. The Green Grid — made up of foes including Intel, IBM, Microsoft, AMD, Sun Microsystems, and Hewlett-Packard — thinks data-center efficiency “is the most significant issue facing technology providers and their customers today,” and plans to whip up new energy standards and technologies. A study released this month by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab estimates that servers ate 1.2 percent of U.S. energy in 2005, and their power use doubled from 2000 to 2005. “What each of the companies [has] realized is that these issues of efficiencies can’t be dealt with in the usual competitive approach that pervades the industry,” says the lab’s Jonathan Koomey. “They really need to figure out a way on certain issues to cooperate.” Said Sun’s sustainable computing director, putting Mr. Rogers fuzziness aside: “Green is green, conservation and efficiency equal profits in every case.”