Software Engineering Tech for Good

Building carbon-aware software

You may seen the recent announcement from Microsoft that Xbox is now the first ‘carbon aware’ games console – reducing carbon footprint by optimizing updates and downloads to run at a time when the console can use the most renewable energy.

Given the increasingly power-hungry needs of the worlds data centres, there is huge opportunity to shift workloads in this way, at least until the grid is fully decarbonised.

Hopefully this will ultimately end up operating at a cloud platform level, but in the meantime, we have the Carbon Aware SDK from the Green Software Foundation. It enables scheduling of compute work at times and in regions with the lowest carbon intensity.

The library integrates with data from and Electricity Maps. While you’re at it, it’s well worth checking out the Software Carbon Intensity spec too, so you have some metrics to work with!

If you’d like an introduction to the key concepts to building green software, including carbon, energy & hardware efficiency, and carbon awareness, there’s also a great resource here.

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