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EU sustainable energy week targets IT

Information and communication technologies seen offering 50 per cent efficiency gains.

The information and communication technology (ICT) sector could be a major driver in reducing the European Union's energy use, attendees of the EU's Sustainable Energy Week in Brussels were told.

Last month, the European Commission set a goal of 20 per cent improvement of energy efficiency by 2020. Speakers at the Brussels event said ICT has already helped cut energy use, citing online banking and videoconferencing as examples.

"I'm ready to bet that in a few years from now we will be able to say that 50 per cent of energy efficiency gains have been due to ICT," said Bernard Meric, vice-president of external affairs for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Hewlett-Packard. "I think ICT is clearly the place to be when we think about energy efficiency."

But information technology firms need to focus on their own energy efficiency, speakers said, especially with data centres and servers, which use high amounts of energy for cooling.

Sun Microsystems

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