EU confirms resolve to foster cloud computing | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 27.09.2012
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EU confirms resolve to foster cloud computing

The European Union has presented plans to actively support cloud computing in the bloc as a new lucrative field of business. Brussels has pledged to develop joint standards and certifications quickly.

The European Union on Thursday declared its willingness to secure a greater toehold in what it deemed was the potentially lucrative market of cloud computing.

The EU Digital Affairs Commissioner, Neelie Kroes, announced Brussels' plans to develop European standards and certifications for storing data and software on remote servers to be accessed by users over the Internet without them having to invest in software themselves.

Kroes estimated intensified cloud computing both in the private sector and by public services could add 160 billion euros ($206 billion) to the economy of the 27-member bloc by 2020, which would equate to a 1.0-percent increase in gross domestic product (GDP).

Shortcomings to be addressed

"But this can only happen, if we get the policies right," Kroes warned. "Today, many potential users think it's too complicated, too risky and too untrustworthy."

But currently, there's also an environmental downside to cloud computing. Servers running around the clock are the fastest-growing source of harmful carbon emissions.

That's why the EU has been funding a scheme designed to help this particular cloud dissipate, by encouraging the use of more efficient low-energy technology. The Eurocloud scheme aims to reduce current servers' power needs by 90 percent in conventional data centers by adapting low-power microprocessor elements used in mobile phones.

hg / msh (AFP, dpa)