It’s becoming clear that something has to be done about the massive amounts of energy used by these centers. Data center clean energy will become one of the following big things in the tech world.
The reason for this is simple: we need a massive amount of energy to power and cool these centers. Only recently has it been possible to find an alternative allowing them to run on cleaner fuel sources.
The Uptime Institute estimates that if clean energy sources powered all data centers in the U.S. through 2050, it would result in $15 billion in savings and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking seven million cars off the road.
Data center clean energy is on the rise.
A data center is the primary cause of emissions and global warming. It is true. Data centers are located worldwide and use a lot of electricity to run their servers and cooling systems. When so much electricity is used on such a large scale, it produces a significant amount of carbon dioxide.
According to a report from the Uptime Institute, energy efficiency is on the rise at data centers. The report, entitled “Data Center 2020,” surveyed the current state of energy consumption and usage through interviews with 80 people across the industry, identifying several key trends shaping the future of clean energy in data centers.
According to the respondents of this survey, there is an increasing need for data centers to reduce their carbon footprint and become more sustainable. Most surveyed agree that green building standards are becoming increasingly important to their own companies and customers; many need to meet these requirements.
However, to meet these stringent requirements, they must adopt efficient hardware and software solutions that will allow them to use less power.
The report also found that while awareness is high among data center operators about sustainable practices, there is still much room for improvement. Those who have implemented green data center strategies have seen cost savings of 5%-15% per year.
They also reported a general increase in productivity and efficiency throughout their organization and a more incredible camaraderie among employees who feel more passionate about their company’s goals when they can integrate them into their day-to-day work lives.
Wind Power and Solar Energy are the best choices for Data Centers.
With the continuous evolution of consumer electronics and the onset of the Internet of Things, business data is being generated at an alarming rate. And with more devices connected to the Internet comes greater demand for cloud storage space, meaning more data centers are popping up to store all that information.
This rapid growth in data centers has a profound impact on the energy sector as well, as these facilities alone account for more than 2% of global electricity consumption. And with data centers expected to grow from 1.6 million servers today to an astronomical 20 billion servers by 2020, it’s clear that we’re in dire need of new solutions to power this ever-expanding industry.
Luckily, recent innovations have opened up a new frontier of clean energy possibilities for data centers—with solar power and fuel cells emerging as two up-and-coming trends.
Solar and wind power use in data centers has increased since companies like Google and Apple started their renewable energy initiatives. We spoke with a Google engineer who told us they’d saved over $1 billion by implementing wind and solar power into their data centers.
Data centers are increasingly investing in renewable power.
Data centers have traditionally relied on fossil fuels like coal, oil, or natural gas for their energy needs. Still, these sources quickly become inadequate for data center needs due to the lack of sustainability surrounding their extraction and use. Fortunately, plenty of other viable options for powering data centers sustainably. For instance, we can use solar panels to generate multiple megawatts.
Data centers—the massive facilities that house the servers that power the Internet and run our businesses—are some of the most environmentally unfriendly places on Earth. Their sheer scale requires a tremendous amount of electricity, and to ensure that their systems are continuously operational, they keep a large reserve of backup energy.
That reserve is often provided by diesel generators, which are incredibly harmful to our environment. But many data centers have just begun taking steps toward a greener future by investing in renewable energy sources such as solar panels or wind turbines.
In addition to saving on operating costs, these investments can score data center managers extensive credits with companies trying to reduce their carbon footprints. And for those in less urban areas, green power can provide an alternative to fossil fuels without relying on transmission lines from faraway places.
According to an article published by Datacenter Dynamics last year, 20% of all new data centers commissioned were using renewable sources for their electricity. And according to recent reports from Data Center Knowledge and Data Center Frontier, many large data center operators—including Google, Facebook, and Apple—have been focusing on this issue and implementing green building techniques into their designs.
The millennial generation is changing how we view the world and our impact on it. With more and more people caring about how their actions affect our environment, businesses are starting to go green. This is especially true for data centers, which consume a lot of energy and produce a lot of waste.
Keep in mind that the more digital things are, the more carbon emissions they produce and the more global warming they cause. Many people believe that renewable energy sources are likely to be the future, while others argue that fossil fuels will remain dominant for decades, if not centuries.
Regarding data centers, most aren’t in the business of being “green” by choice. With rising costs and the need to cut costs while keeping up with demand, they’re simply looking for ways to decrease their energy costs.
In addition to the country’s high levels of carbon dioxide emission, there are also increasing concerns about rising energy costs, which are a huge part of corporate expenses and can even impact a company’s ability to grow. With those factors in mind, some data center operators are going green by becoming more energy efficient and finding alternative sources for their power needs.