All data centers should be eco-friendly in 2030 to reduce carbon emissions because the number of data centers has increased rapidly. Also, it is possible to cut down electricity consumption and reduce the cost. In addition, the eco-friendly data center can help to protect our environment in the long term.
What is an Eco-Friendly Data Center?
An eco-friendly data center uses sustainable technologies and materials, such as solar power and recycled metal. These technologies help the data center operate more efficiently while reducing its overall carbon footprint. By making the switch to an eco-friendly data center, you can create a better place to work and do business while helping the environment at the same time.
When we think of green data centers, the first thing that comes to mind is likely the abundance of solar panels on their roofs. While these buildings use renewable resources, there are other things that make them eco-friendly.
Data centers are the most energy-intensive components of an IT infrastructure. Their need for power stems from a few different areas:
- they’re often located in places where cheap electricity is available, usually near a coal or natural gas plant.
- keeping all those servers and storage devices cool requires a massive amount of air conditioning.
- more servers mean more backup systems, which means more power being used to run all those systems in the background.
Data centers can be more efficient than other buildings. This is because data centers don’t need as much insulation as a typical building if you take the same amount of hardware and put it in two different types of buildings.
One with good insulation and one without. The one with insulation will use more energy to keep its temperature up (because it has to work harder to keep cool) when computers aren’t using it to store and process information.
Additionally, if you’re using renewable energy sources to power your building, you’ll probably be using less than you would otherwise because data centers use only as much power as they need at any given time.
Why Should All Data Centers Turn to Eco-Friendly Data Centers?
Some of us are too familiar with global warming, and the most severe factor is the greenhouse gas in our environment. Everyone knows that data center is an integral part of the development of the digital era, so they should pay more attention to it.
Data centers are one of the most power-consuming industries in the world. Especially for those big players such as Google or Facebook. Data centers consume more than 2% of the world’s electricity. That’s equivalent to all of Denmark’s power consumption or equal to 2.5 million households’ energy usage.
Besides, according to the Greenpeace report, some big data centers, including Apple and Google, were “idle monsters” which wasted vast amounts of energy and questioned their green credentials.
Data centers are one of the most energy-consuming facilities in the world. Here are some facts about them:
- They account for 2% of the electricity use in the United States and about 1% of total electricity worldwide.
- They account for 1% of all greenhouse gas emissions.
- They consume more power than 135,000 North American homes combined, 50 times more power than a data center in the 1960s.
- The data center energy consumption is set to increase over the next 20 years.
Many data centers have many environmental problems like waste heat and power consumption. To solve this problem, data centers should turn to eco-friendly data centers, The purpose is to reduce their carbon footprint and be more efficient and responsible for their environment.
Carbon Emissions and Climate Change
The demand for data centers has been increasing since the world entered the information age. Data centers store, process, and transmit digital information, including social media posts, videos, photos, and financial transactions.
Worldwide, companies use this technology to understand their customers better, plan future products and monitor their supply chain. The growing number of smartphones, tablets, and e-readers also means many people are connected to the internet daily.
This helps customers access information faster and stimulates economic growth by increasing productivity levels. However, this growth in technology has a price: increased energy consumption by data centers contributes to greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
Carbon emissions and climate change have become a concern worldwide. The greenhouse effect that occurs due to the emission of greenhouse gases is raising the Earth’s average temperature. Fossil fuels mainly produce greenhouse gas emissions. The primary source of electricity generation in the world is still dependent on fossil fuels (Adam, 2013).
In this regard, a data center consumes large amounts of energy, producing carbon emissions. There are various ways to reduce carbon emissions and the cost involved in building an eco-friendly data center.
Look for Energy Solutions
We must acknowledge that data centers have contributed immensely to the economic growth of developed countries. In the other side, they also harm the environment. Traditional data centers consume large amounts of energy annually and generate significant greenhouse gases.
Therefore, improving data center efficiency through green technologies is crucial for businesses to continue operating with profit and for society to preserve its environment for future generations.
Green energy initiatives are currently being implemented by various organizations worldwide.
For instance, Google has replaced parts of its data centers with solar panels and wind turbines to reduce their energy costs by 40%. Some governments are also making efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. They were implementing various green technologies in their data centers, such as Norway, which is planning to create an entirely green-powered data center by 2020.
Recently, Amazon has been working with the State Electricity Company in Indonesia (PLN) to build a solar farm with a capacity of 210 MW. The search for energy solutions in the future must start now because it takes a long time to develop renewable energy solutions.
Meanwhile, the existing agreement (Net-Zero Pact) targets reducing carbon emissions by up to 50% in 2030. Using natural gas for temporary data center power generation can be an initial solution to reducing the data center’s carbon footprint.
Read also: Prospective Green Data Center Markets in Indonesia
Data Center Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency is a major concern for companies large and small. For example, data centers are essential to most businesses, so they’re often a target of energy efficiency efforts.
Data center energy efficiency can be broken down into four areas:
- infrastructure and operations,
- utility management, and
Priorities for data center infrastructure and operations include:
- Optimizing data center facility cooling.
- Implementing and maintaining sound HVAC systems.
- Making sure all servers are efficiently cooled.
- Using cold aisle containment to reduce hot spots in the racks.
Priorities for data center architecture include:
- Using thermally efficient building materials.
- Positioning racks so that structures transfer heat between them effectively.
Priorities for data center utility management include:
- Using software to analyze utility load schedules and usage patterns to reduce demand charges by shifting load from high to low times.
- Utilizing smart power monitoring technologies to reduce overall power use by 20% or more through responses such as delaying equipment startup until energy prices are lowest. Energy monitoring involves closely tracking your power usage and calculating how much money is being used through this service. By closely monitoring our power usage, we can ensure that we’re running our equipment efficiently and cost-effectively.
Priorities for data center technology include:
- Replacing traditional lighting with LEDs can use up to 50% less energy while emitting less heat than fluorescent bulbs in some cases.
- Using virtualization. Virtualization uses one machine to run multiple operating systems. It allows multiple servers to utilize one physical machine simultaneously. This saves space, power, and cooling costs because you only use what you need.
Despite their role as major energy consumers, most people need to realize how much power data centers use or what can be done to reduce their impact on our environment. That’s why we’re sharing some facts about how much energy is used in data centers and what steps you can take to make them more efficient.
As the world has been transforming into an IT-based society, data centers are playing a more critical role. There are about 100 million servers worldwide, which consume about 2% of global electricity.
According to an International Data Corporation (IDC) report, worldwide servers are expected to reach 300 million by 2015. If that happens, the amount of energy consumed by these servers will be doubled. In other words, data center consumption will double in 5 years.
If we don’t change it in the next five years, our data centers will consume four times as much energy as they do now. The Earth’s total energy consumption is 13 terawatts (TW), so the energy consumed by data centers is equivalent to 1/10 of all the energy we currently have.
If this happens, it will be a disaster for our planet. This is why it is essential to make data centers more eco-friendly before it’s too late. With a focus on environmental sustainability, there’s no reason why data centers in 2030 shouldn’t be eco-friendly.