Data Centres Facing New Renewable Energy Legislation Over Consumption Fears

New legislation will come into place that requires data centres to install at least one element of renewable energy to offset their overall consumption and carbon footprint.

Data centres throughout the globe currently use 1% of the world’s global power. They make up for 2% of the total carbon footprint, matching that of the aviation industry. It is predicted that if current trends continue data centres will use one-fifth of the global energy by 2040.

Increasing pressure is being placed on data centres to minimise IT demand and waste as the growing need for sustainable IT resources continues in a bid to combat the climate crisis. It is essential for data centres to address sustainability as energy costs rise as the resources are placed under more pressure to perform. 

Many researchers have addressed data centres need for cooling equipment. As of date, 40% of the energy that data centres use is used for cooling purposes. In recent years, more funding has been injected into the research of mass application of liquid cooling. It is expected that if more data centres adapt to liquid cooling, energy costs will drop as pressure is removed from global resources to the energy efficiency of liquid cooling in comparison to current procedures.

In addition to these changes, new legislation will require data centres to have a minimum of one renewable energy solution offsetting their data consumption. Greenpeace is pushing for the IT sector to become 100% renewable energy-based as a way to drastically address the current climate. In 2018, the renewable energy sector made up 26.2% of global energy generation. It is expected that as more companies adopt a greener approach the sector will account for 45% of energy generation.

While it is important that large sectors such as data centres in the IT field address their own energy consumption, it is also important to address our personal agendas and energy use if we are to have a greener future.

While it is consistently pushed that lights should be turned off, only boil the water that you need, turn the heating down/off etc.. Do you ever consider the smaller, almost automatic actions you do every day that require energy? Do you consider the companies you are funding with your money?    

A recent survey found that 70% of consumers are more likely to spend money or work with a company that has a strong environmental agenda. Additionally, many consumers didn’t know that one search via the internet uses enough energy to power a 60-watt lightbulb for 17 seconds. To check the renewable energy score of popular companies, you can view this 2017 Greenpeace click clean report.

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