School computers slammed as 'massive energy sink'

School computers are overpowered for the applications for which they are used and as a result have a massive environmental impact, new research has claimed.

A report from Open Source consultancy Sirius Corporation revealed that school computers in the UK generate a staggering one million tones of carbon dioxide and cost over £100 million a year in electricity to run.

And with the government's established plans for a computer for every pupil and an interactive whiteboard in every classroom, the power consumption of the average UK school is forecast to increase tenfold within the next ten years.

To reduce their power consumption Sirius Corporation has recommended that schools move away from the BECTA frameworks to more energy-conservative models.

Leaner hardware, virtualized network services and traditional 'fat-client' workstations should be replaced with low-power 'thin-client' terminals, along with flat screens and server consolidation to reduce power consumption still further.

Mark Taylor, chief executive of Sirius Corporation, said: 'We realized that the computing model promoted by BECTA's frameworks is creating a massive energy-sink.

'Most school's PCs spend their time idle. The hardware specified is just too powerful for the tasks required of school children. They're like an SUV for every child.'

And with the use of Windows Vista forecast to drive energy consumption figures even higher, Mr Taylor has advised the adoption of modern thin-client networks as a priority.

© 2006 The Inquirer. Original article by Anonymous