Microsoft has announced that they are dropping their membership with ALEC. The American Legislative Exchange Council(ALEC) is a lobbying group that works to advance limited government, free markets, and federalism at the state level through a nonpartisan public-private partnership of America’s state legislators, members of the private sector and the general public. But it was recently revealed that ALEC was involved in lobbying for measures to repeal renewable energy standards, block meaningful disclosure of chemicals used in fracking and more. Microsoft provided the following statement regarding ALEC, “In 2014 Microsoft decided to no longer participate in the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Communications and Technology Task Force, which had been our only previous involvement with ALEC, With this decision, we no longer contribute any dues to ALEC…we are no longer members of ALEC and do not provide the organization with financial support of any kind.” Greenpeace senior IT policy analyst Gary ...

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Last year, Microsoft Research revealed that they are working on an unconventional approach to power a datacenter entirely by fuel cells integrated directly into the server racks. Today, they announced that they have successfully demonstrated the concept at the National Fuel Cell Research Center at UC Irvine. A rack of servers powered directly off the direct current (DC) output of the fuel cell stack, essentially stripping out most of the infrastructure found in the traditional data center energy supply chain. As a result, you will have a very efficient system with a radically simplified supply chain and fewer points of potential failure. But aren’t fuel cells much more expensive than conventional generation technology?  On a pure levelized cost of energy (LCOE) basis, an off-the-shelf fuel cell system will not be cost competitive with conventional generation. In other words, the cost of electrons coming out of the conventional power plant will ...

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