Data Centers Energy Management: Transition To Renewable Energy

Electricity use in Data Centers

It’s now estimated that data centers consume approximately 1 percent of global electricity use. With consumption estimated at over 200 TWh, global data centers consume more power than the entire consumption of Poland.

Source: Recalibrating global data center energy-use estimates

Efficiency practices to reduce the impact

Data centers typically use a standard metric of efficiency, Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). A data center PUE provides insight into its energy efficiency by comparing the total building power required with the power required to run the computing equipment. Based on an Uptime Institute survey, the average PUE has decreased from ~2.0 to ~1.6 in the past decade. Currently, Google’s data centers are running at the top-end of efficiency with a PUE of ~1.1.‍

Source: Uptime Institute global data center survey 2020
  • Priority is given to data centers established in cooler locations (i.e. Iceland and Norway)
  • Free-cooling as a cooling mechanism to avoid expensive electricity-powered chillers
  • Using more efficient equipment in power distribution/transformers/UPS/lighting
  • Design improvements in existing data centers — hot/cold aisle containment
  • Better cooling and temperature control
  • Use of machine learning and AI to optimise systems

Clean Energy Leaders

Energy efficiency improvements aren’t the only way to reduce a data center’s climate impact. Renewable energy procurement is another key tactic used by the industry to reduce or even eliminate Scope 2 emissions, which represent the biggest slice in this business. For a data center that doesn’t purchase renewable electricity yet, there are a number of options for renewable energy purchasing. These include signing virtual or physical corporate PPAs, on-site generation, green tariffs, and renewable energy certificates.

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FlexiDAO

FlexiDAO

FlexiDAO is a software provider in the energy sector aiming to accelerate the transition toward a decabornised world, leveraging on blockchain applications.