Net Zero Energy Data Centres

April 29, 2021

As the world becomes increasingly digitised, demand for data centre services is rising rapidly. The goal is to power digital infrastructure with renewable energy but that is seen as a three-step process. The first step is to use offsets, followed by matching usage with like-for-like energy purchases. The final stage is direct consumption of locally generated renewables, either in real time or stored from recent generation. This talk investigates the growing synergies between data centres and the energy system and how those collaborations can open the way to a sustainable future.

Sessions from this talk

As data centres continue to set sustainability goals for their operation, the virtual power purchase agreement (PPA) has been the default strategy for most carbon emission reductions. But it leaves significant hidden costs for the grid operator for balancing supply and demand. Cleaner on site resiliency microgrids can further decarbonise operations while also providing much needed grid support services, thus completing the Net Zero energy system.
Are the announcements about net zero energy data centres merely marketing responses to the threat of regulation/legislation or are they a real possibility? With many of the elements required for genuine Net Zero beyond the control of data centre operators, including the re-use of waste heat for instance and the performance of the IT load, how can we realistically achieve this? Are we being seduced away from genuine solutions by Hyperscale companies who are effectively operating very large enterprise sites so not actually representative of the sector as a whole? Remember that an energy efficient building is not necessarily an energy efficient data centre! This presentation will explore these areas and more.
The prospect of government regulation together with the demand for the sector to operate in a more sustainable fashion is driving data centre owners to consider the carbon impact of their business operations. As a leading data centre MEP firms renowned for design innovation and thought leadership, i3 Solutions Group in collaboration with EYP Mission Critical Facilities have formed the GHG Abatement Group to provide objective advice and deliver a practical roadmap for reduced data centre greenhouse gas emissions as a step towards carbon net-zero operations by 2030. The purpose of this talk is to provide an overview of the main factors associated with the many low-carbon technology options currently available to guide decision-making.
Diesel generators can only be utilised in emergency situations and do not support the sustainability goals. Renewable energy sources are volatile and not available around the clock. The electric grid gets more and more instable due to added volatile renewable energy sources in the grid. Unfortunately, catastrophic events are increasing as well, which lead to longer outage durations of the electric grid. Learn how natural gas generators can support your sustainability goals, how to reduce your dependency on the electric grid and even being able to offer grid balancing services.
Energy consumption by data centres is becoming increasingly unsustainable and operators are both choosing or being forced to look at mitigation strategies. On top of this modern software workloads demand a different kind of architecture than has been dominant for over 40 years. Bamboo Systems is directly taking on these challenges with a unique approach to Arm-based server design that is built for today’s software and significantly reduces energy consumption and rack space for a given workload.
Every day as our global population grows, there is greater demand for faster, more intelligent, and more immediate access to data. In this new world, technology continues to play a fundamental role in our daily lives. Our use of data is only going to increase – and so will our need for datacentres. With a fast-evolving landscape, there will soon be a requirement to have datacentres anywhere. Current datacentres remain a significant consumer of energy resources, using around one per cent of global electricity supplies. With climate change being one of the biggest challenges facing humanity today, we need a solution to run our datacentres more sustainably and this solution must also offer resiliency.
According to the World Green Building Council, a net zero carbon building is one highly energy efficient with all remaining energy from on-site and/or off-site renewable sources, this presentation takes a deep dip into what this actually means for the data centre sector, why current planning applications are falling short, and why it may be impossible to achieve without a fundamental rethink of all aspects of ICT and Data Centres, and presenting some radical solutions for evaluation by the industry.

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