The Rising Energy Consumption of Data Centres
It’s International Data Centre Day, and these hubs of information continue expanding as more of us rely on them. Data centres are energy-hungry 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, data centres spend 70% of their OPEX 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 strict sustainability and net-zero targets, data centres must track their electricity use. Moreover, they also need to know how they source their electricity.
Transition to Renewable Energy in Data Centres
Keepit, a market leader in cloud data protection and management, announced last week that all of its data centres in the Americas and EMEA now use power entirely from renewable energy. The energy used to power the data centres comes from sources covered by regional renewable energy guarantee programs. Similarly, Google, has started powering 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.
Innovative Approaches to Decarbonising Data Centre Operations
In another move to address ever-increasing pressure from legislators, customers and investors, data centres are leveraging Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to buy 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 (email@example.com), and Jean-Jacques Jouanna, Managing Director (firstname.lastname@example.org) would welcome an initial chat to understand your needs and how we can help you achieve your goals.