It’s Cloud-y In Seattle

I don’t know if any of you have friends and relatives that don’t live here (I assume you do), but there’s nothing more annoying than when they ask me “Hey, is it raining in Seattle?” Or, when they come to visit and it happens to be raining, they say, “I’m SOOOO surprising it’s raining!” It reminds me of all the comments I got when I was an intern in DC during the Clinton administration (“say hi to Monica Lewinsky for me!”).

So you can imagine how mixed my emotions were to write that post title. (The other option was some obscure Lando Calrissian/Cloud City reference). But sometimes, true is true. And it’s true: our region is the world leader in the cloud. Cloud computing, that is!

When I was at the Innovation Summit on Friday, global leadership in cloud computing was a major topic of conversation. Between Amazon.com, Microsoft and our region’s growing Google presence, we have the three biggest players – by far – in the space. And the potential implications of that are huge. Including for building energy efficiency.

I already referenced this idea a while back in my “Buildings are the New iPhones” post, but – in the words of LeVar Burton on Reading Rainbow – you don’t have to take my word for it. Instead, why don’t you just read this Microsoft report entitled, “The Central Role of Cloud Computing in Making Cities Energy-Smart“:

…as both existing and new cities grow, their energy infrastructures need to evolve, becoming energy-smart to support increased energy conservation and integration of cleaner, renewable energy sources…Maturing cloud computing and data management technologies offer new opportunities to address energy management issues on a new scale; one that is needed in a world of increasing energy and environmental constraints. In fact, the evolution of energy infrastructures won’t be achieved without information technologies – in particular, applications and services that leverage the computing capabilities of the cloud. All cities will need to leverage systems that are connected and supported by a large volume of real-time data from diverse public and private sources if they are to meet the needs of increasing population. (emphasis added)

I added that emphasis, of course, because it very much backs up the logic behind our BETI proposal, in that we’re making the play to position this region and state as the international hub for the energy efficiency software and automation technology industry cluster. And the fact that we can be leading in not only the development of the cloud as well as its application to building energy efficiency makes that a double win.

I’ll be exploring this idea even further on Wednesday when I travel down to San Jose as part of the Chamber’s Intercity Study Mission, and learn about related work being done at the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center. So check back for more posts on this topic…like as part of your favorite Prosperity Blog feature, the B-MOW!

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