Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Adobe installs wind turbines

Adobe Adobe has installed 20 vertical wind turbines at its San José HQ. 

It sounds like a big deal, but the figures suggest its not going to make a big impact.  The company estimates that it can get about 2,500 kWh per year per turbine and the US Department of Energy estimates that a typical US home consumes ~11,000 kWh per year.  So the turbines will generate enough electricity to power about 5 typical US homes, which I guess is not going to make much of a dent in Adobe’s HQ emissions.


On the other hand, the wind is there and micro-generation is the way of the future, so it’s all worthwhile.

In fact Adobe has initiated quite a number of energy and conservation projects in recent years to improve the HQ site's environmental sustainability.  The company reports that it has reduced:

• Indoor water use by 22%

• Landscaping water use by 76%

• Electricity use by 35%

• Natural gas use by 41%

As a result the site has earned three Platinum-level LEED certifications from the US Green Building Council.

There’s a lesson here.  Many companies are going for the headline big projects that achieve significant improvements in energy efficiency or use of renewable resources.  But that’s not always possible and there is a lot that can be achieved through taking smaller bites at all available alternatives.

Let’s face it, cherry picking the easy solutions only takes you so far.  To achieve the level of emissions reductions we need in the long term will require continued incremental improvements when the big bang approach has been and gone.

© The Green IT Review

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