A "green" feather in Canada's cap heading to Copenhagen climate conference

Canada's Advanced Research Network, CANARIE, announces funding for the world's first wind and solar-powered internet network

OTTAWA, Nov. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - When we think about the biggest producers of carbon emissions, we often focus on the usual suspects, such as coal-burning power plants, car exhaust, even indirect culprits like deforestation and energy over-consumption.

But the next time you leave your computer running, consider this: according to research done by Global Action Plan in the UK, the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) industry is now the fastest growing sector for carbon emissions in the world. It's estimated that the ICT industry alone produces carbon emissions equivalent to the carbon output of the entire aviation industry. The more computers we use, the more carbon-emitting energy is consumed to power them.

CANARIE, Canada's Advanced Research and Innovation Network, is pleased to announce $2.4 million in funding for four ground-breaking Green IT projects aimed at reducing ICT's carbon footprint and measuring the impact of ICT and cyberinfrastructure on university electric consumption.

CANARIE's biggest Green IT funding recipient is the GreenStar Network, an alliance of Canada's leading IT companies, universities and international partners, led by Quebec's École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) in Montreal. CANARIE has given the GreenStar Network $2 million to develop the world's first internet network, where the network nodes will be powered entirely by wind and solar energy and yet will provide the same reliability to users as the current Internet network does.

"We are incredibly proud to launch the GreenStar Network under the leadership of CANARIE's Green IT Pilot program," said Dr. Mohamed Cheriet, Director of Synchromedia at ÉTS and spokesperson for the GreenStar Network. "The GreenStar Network has come together to develop low-carbon technologies, including renewable energy like wind and solar-powered networks, virtualization, carbon quantification procedures, and tools to ensure ICT's carbon footprint remains under control and doesn't increase as the world becomes more and more reliant on information and communications technologies."

"CANARIE has always been a global leader in high-speed networks that enable research and innovation. Now, these Green IT initiatives demonstrate how CANARIE is once again trailblazing the next evolution of networks that are committed to both high performance AND the environment", said CANARIE President Guy Bujold.

    CANARIE's three other GREEN IT funding recipients are:

    -   A joint project between McGill University (CLUMEQ) and University of
        California, San Diego (SDSC Centre) to design an ultra-efficient data
        centre for high-performance computing applications. Funding: $163,000

    -   International Institute for Sustainable Development, based in
        Winnipeg, will conduct a study to assess the business case, and
        carbon-offset potential, for Canadian universities to use CANARIE's
        ultra high-speed network to run IT operations from remote, zero-
        carbon data centre facilities. Funding: $100,000

    -   University of British Columbia's Centre for Sustainability and Social
        Innovation at Sauder School of Business will develop a business case
        for how carbon offsets can be used to finance data centre relocations
        and how universities could implement this opportunity. Funding:

"CANARIE is taking the global lead by funding Green IT innovation and that's something Canada can be very proud of going into December's Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen," said CANARIE Chief Research Officer and Green IT expert, Bill St. Arnaud.

You can find more stats and quick facts on carbon emissions from the ICT industry at http://www.canarie.ca/en/GreenIT-quickfacts.

    About CANARIE:

CANARIE Inc. is Canada's Advanced Research and Innovation Network. Established in 1993, CANARIE manages an ultra high-speed network, hundreds of times faster than the internet, which facilitates leading-edge research and big science across Canada and around the world. More than 39,000 researchers at nearly 200 Canadian universities and colleges use the CANARIE Network, as well as researchers at institutes, hospitals, and government laboratories throughout the country. The CANARIE Network enables researchers to share and analyze massive amounts of data, which can lead to ground-breaking scientific discoveries. CANARIE's network, programs, and strategic partnerships with 12 regional networks in Canada, and 100 international networks in more than 80 countries, stimulate research that delivers economic, social, and cultural benefits to Canadians.

CANARIE is a non-profit corporation supported by membership fees, with major funding of its programs and activities provided by the Government of Canada. For additional information, please visit: www.canarie.ca.

    About the GreenStar Network:

The goal of the GreenStar Network Project (GSN) is to initiate a Canadian consortium of industry, universities and government agencies with the common goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions arising from information & communication technology (ICT) services. GSN will combine renewable energy with rigorous carbon accounting to provide state-of-the-art ICT infrastructure upon which universities, businesses, and governments can provide certifiably low-carbon services. The expected result is the creation of tools, protocols, procedures and use cases for a growing network of ICT service providers that offer customers the lowest price and greenest services.


For further information: For further information: and media interviews, please contact: Cheryl Rosebush, CANARIE Manager, Communications, Cell: (613) 697-4605, Office: (613) 943-5374

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