The path to greener energy for data centres

September 23, 2021
00:00

Energy consumption from data centres is currently attracting more attention as a matter of concern, as global computing capacity continues to rapidly increase. But rather than seeing them as a threat to the sustainable energy transition, and the wider climate goals outlined in the Paris Agreement, data centres may actually present an opportunity to accelerate the transition. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) data centres sit at the nexus of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and burgeoning data economy enabled by digitalisation. By integrating the latest technologies and leveraging the increasingly attractive economics of renewables and the increased efficiencies made possible by artificial intelligence, data centres are paving a path that other power-hungry industries could follow.

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Data centre infrastructure has never been more vital to the way our world interacts, with a digital revolution occuring across all industries and disciplines being the cause for the data centre boom. With data centres consuming one per cent of global electricity, the ultimate goal is to power digital infrastructure with more renewable energy sources, and drastically reduce the impact on climate change. Phill Lawson-Shanks discusses how the growing demand for renewable energy impacting data centre builders and operators, what makes the transition more seamless, and what the future looks like for renewable energy in the data centre.
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The need for clean, green power is evident for all to see – our planet is heating at an alarming rate, and, according to the most recent IPCC report, human activity is a primary factor. However, while renewable energy, carbon credits, and electron tracing are all part of the solution, little has been done to examine the negative side effects of the green environment we are striving towards. This session explores the various types of green energy in use today, as well as new configurations which can maximise the usage and effectiveness to support the compute industry. Additionally, we will highlight some of the most recent solutions which can contribute to decreasing our carbon footprint.
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