by January 1, 2009 0 comments

Its tech industry, and the influence and impact of its two million developers
and tech and BPO workers, are on a high, and rising. The economy, facing a big
squeeze from the global recession, struggles to keep growing. And a people known
for their never-say-die spirit, entrepreneurship and jugadu street-side
innovation, are reeling from a year of terror.

In this new-year milieu, it may sound odd if I speak of green tech and power
as major issues. But even if you ignore the fact that the top threat facing this
21st-century peace-era world is global warming, which has melted thousands of
tonnes of ice, raised the mean sea level, and changed local weather patterns…
…you can’t get over the fact that among the top issues facing India, and its
tech and other industries in this year ahead, will be power shortage.

It’s pushing up costs, limiting places businesses expand to or families
relocate to (in Gurgaon, so many families insist on an apartment with 100% power
backup, and with good reason).

It’s also the main driver for greener technology adoption in much of India:
the cost of backup power, and business continuity.

Across our group of publications at CyberMedia, we’re taking up a common
focus in 2009 on green tech and energy efficiency: the need, products, solutions
and opportunities.

PCQuest will focus on products, technologies and solutions. It will also
test, at CyberMedia Labs, ‘everyday’ products, hardware and software, for power
footprint and impact.

Prasanto K Roy is president and chief editor,
Publications, at CyberMedia

Most products have an impact on power, a footprint: that’s not just for
hardware. For instance, current phone apps like GPS-aided maps or instant
messenger clients reduce mobile battery life. A real-time anti-virus scanner can
cut laptop battery life to half, as it did mine!

And there is the power impact of devices on standby. Take a company with 500
phones on employee desks. They’ll draw a total of 100 watts all the time, when
not in use. No big deal. But upgrade them to IP phones, and the standby power
wasted crosses 2 kilowatts! As usual, the real problem won’t be just the Rs
70,000 additional annual power bill, but the impact on backup costs: capex
(equipment) and opex (diesel).

If you move 500 monitors from CRT to LCD, yes, there’s a 25 kilowatt drop in
the power draw when they’re in use. But what happens on standby? You can save
further, if the systems are set to go to standby in ten minutes of non-use (and
if you’ve bought energy-star rated monitors and systems designed to draw less
power on standby). All this translates into a lot of backup equipment and cost
savings, even if you did not think the power savings of about Rs 5 lakh a year
would be worth the investment.

Measuring all this impact is critical. PCQuest will test the products,
technologies and solutions to help you decide the impact on your power backup
costs-and whether it makes business sense for you to invest in Green. We think
it does, but you need to figure that out for yourself and convince yourself.
PCQuest will help you decide, with the tests, data and recommendations.

And of course, I need to hear about your challenges, questions, and answers,
in our journey toward greener technologies. Do you have a green roadmap? Have
you spent money or saved money on green tech? Write to me.

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