Will South Korea Clean the U.S.'s Clock in Green IT?

Will South Korea Clean the U.S.'s Clock in Green IT?

There's no doubt that the future of IT is green, and that any country that leads the world in Green IT will reap enormous financial benefits. But it may be that South Korea, rather than the United States, will become the world Green IT leader.

President Obama has certainly set his sights on the U.S. becoming a leader in green technology overall and Green IT in particular. His stimulus package includes plenty of money that will help boost Green IT. For example, as I've previously blogged, $10 billion will go to the Smart Grid, and $10 billion for National Institutes of Health, $3 billion for the National Science Foundation, $1 billion for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and $1.6 billion for the Energy Department’s Office of Science.

All that requires improved IT infrastructure, and most new infrastructure will be green. In addition, the federal Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra is a big fan of IT as well, as I've written about in a previous blog.

All that is well and good, but it's likely not as good as what South Korea is doing. Under Obama's plan money heading to Green IT will be a byproduct of other work; there's not a substantial amount of money directed solely for Green IT.

By way of contrast, South Korea just launched a massive green plan for the country, with $3.4 billion directed straight into Green IT between now and 2013. According to  AFP, there will be 10 key Green IT projects:
They include creating energy-saving versions of products like personal computers, TVs, displays and servers, as well as developing energy-efficient IT service networks including high-speed Internet lines.

Others include the construction of eco-friendly schools using digitised textbooks, electric screens to replace blackboard and chalk, and the application of IT technologies to reduce energy consumption in manufacturing.
That's much better than what the U.S. is doing. Unless we follow South Korea's lead --- and even beat it --- we may cede leadership to them in Green IT.