It’s International Data Centre Day and these hubs of information continue to bulge as more of us rely on them. Data centres are energy-gluttons and if unchecked, they will continue to consume even more energy as the demand for data increases. Today we are looking more closely at where things have been and where they are headed. Data centre electricity consumption accounted for 3% of the total electricity consumed worldwide in 2022 (3.4% in the UK) and is predicted to rise to a whopping 8% by 2030.
On average 70% of data centre OPEX is spent on electricity. As a result, data centre operators and owners are under pressure to develop new energy-efficient cooling and IT systems to cut back on energy use. Electricity also comes with emissions issues if the sources are fossil fuel-based. With increasingly strict sustainability and net-zero targets, data centres need to track their electricity consumption as well as how their electricity supply is sourced.
Keepit, a market leader in cloud data protection and management, announced last week that all of its data centres in the Americas and EMEA are now powered entirely by renewable energy. The energy used to power the data centres comes from sources covered by regional renewable energy guarantee programs. Similarly, Google, has started to power its data centres in Chile, Finland and Denmark with mostly renewable energy. In addition to this, Google also installed battery systems as backup power for its data centre in Belgium in 2022, whilst supporting the Belgian grid.
In another move to address ever-increasing pressure from legislators, customers and investors, data centres have also massively leveraged Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to purchase electricity from renewable sources. According to a report by the International Energy Agency, Data Centres and IT companies accounted for more than 50% of all corporate renewable PPAs in 2021 – opening up new business opportunities for energy providers.
Some data centres go above and beyond decarbonising their own operations by reusing the heat generated by processors for external applications. Deep Green, a pioneering startup, uses energy generated by its data centre to power its digital boiler technology to heat a nearby public swimming pool in Exmouth, Devon, UK.
At NovAzure, we work closely with our clients and our eco-system partners to support our aim towards net-zero. If you would like to talk with us about decarbonisation, you can reach out to our specialist team working within the industry; Philip Cholerton, Partner (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Jean-Jacques Jouanna, Managing Director (email@example.com) would welcome an initial chat to understand your needs and how we can help you achieve your goals.