Microsoft joins grid decarbonization effort from Linux Foundation nonprofit

Microsoft has joined forces with LF Energy, a Linux Foundation nonprofit working to accelerate the energy transition of the world’s grids and transportation systems through open source.

Microsoft has become a strategic member of the foundation and Audrey Lee, senior director of energy strategy at Microsoft, was elected to serve on the LF Energy Foundation Governing Board.

Dr. Shuli Goodman, executive director of LF Energy, told ZDNet that the foundation believes Microsoft will play an important role in helping to advance their mission of decarbonization of the power grid, transportation and the built environment.

“LF Energy Foundation is thrilled to have Microsoft join our organization as a General member. Through MSFT’s commitment to a carbon negative position they are directly encouraging the tech sector to look for more efficient ways to purchase and consume power,” Goodman said.

“LF Energy nurtures the most cutting edge of all open source projects focused on improving automation, control, security, virtualization, and interoperability of power systems. Our members contribute valuable code, tooling, resources and expertise to increase the velocity of these projects.”

In a statement to ZDNet, Microsoft said their work with LF Energy was part of their 100/100/0 effort announced in July.

At the time, Microsoft leaders Lucas Joppa and Noelle Walsh said their long term vision is that “on all the world’s grids, 100 percent of electrons, 100 percent of the time, are generated from zero carbon sources.” They hope to reach the goal by 2030.

“When announcing our 100/100/0 commitment, we acknowledged that Microsoft alone cannot decarbonize the grid,” a Microsoft spokesperson told ZDNet.

“Collaborating with partners like LF Energy is part of our ongoing efforts to connect with energy suppliers and companies that have similar goals.”

In a blog post, LF Energy said even with Microsoft’s participation in the effort, no one entity alone can match the challenges the world faces with climate change and more companies need to do more to address environmental damage.

“Swapping out the engines — including fossil fuel — that drive our global economy is not just a pre-competitive opportunity, but a cooperative march to arrest climate change and the disastrous social and economic threats it promises,” LF Energy said.

“The members of LF Energy believe that there is gold at the end of this rainbow where innovation does not destroy capital, but enables us to do more with less. Decarbonization is no longer a nice to have, or even a choice, and it shouldn’t be viewed as a competitive advantage just for some. It is a necessary building block to create a sustainable future for everyone.”

The organization noted that billions of dollars will be spent as the world transforms its economies to be more environment-friendly.

LF Energy said it also hopes to serve as a forum for changes to the regulatory environments that govern these issues. While advocating for some regulation, they said policies need to “drive — not hinder — technology investments.

Goodman called Microsoft a “force multiplier” and said having the company backing LF Energy will help propel their projects forward at a rapid pace.

“This is an effort that all companies need to make to transform our economies. Fossil-fuels have enabled economic growth in the last 100 years that has profoundly shaped the prosperity of human life,” Goodman said.

“The members of LF Energy believe that there is gold at the end of this rainbow where innovation does not destroy capital, but enables us to do more with less.”

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