The Energy-Efficient Data Centre: A Renewable Strategy

In a World Driven by Data & Demand, Data Centre Magazine Considers Some of the Economic & Environmentally-Friendly Benefits to a Sustainable Data Centre

Energy-efficiency is expected to be a driving force for the development of the data centre industry in 2024.

In fact, in 2022, the global Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration market (HVAC&R) market was valued at US$259.37bn and is expected to reach US$360.49bn by 2028. The global HVAC&R market value is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.64%, during the forecast period of 2023-2028.

The rising need for energy-efficient and sustainable buildings is expected to further propel the growth of the HVAC&R system industry during the forecast period.

Working to reduce global environmental impact

With increased numbers of data centre companies releasing sustainability reports, or ESG strategies, it is clear that there has been a global shift in considering how organisations can reduce emissions moving forward.

Data centres are responsible for a significant portion of global energy consumption and this is only set to increase as the demand for data and AI and cloud technologies increases. Currently, not only is the industry responsible for 1.5% of global energy consumption, it is expected to have reached 8% by 2030.

In fact, the conversation in the data centre sector has moved forward rapidly in recent years, with enterprises harnessing new technologies to develop sustainable solutions for their business. Organisations are also finding that partnerships with other companies are helping them to enact the best possible sustainable solutions.

Organisations within the sector are looking to expand upon their sustainability strategies in 2024, notably using solutions like liquid cooling to reduce energy consumption. Cooling has quickly been hailed as a more effective solution than air cooling within data centres. Using cooling technologies, such as liquid cooling, in addition to implementing measures to improve airflow, has been suggested to help to improve airflow and reduce power losses.

Renewable energy could lead to cost reductions

Investing in energy efficiencies can benefit the industry in myriad ways, including overall cost reductions for data centres. In order to achieve this, data centre companies and industry leaders would do well to invest in the latest technology. Utilising new solutions like AI, cloud adoption, or high-performance computing could end up saving energy in the long-term as the technology has the ability to streamline workflows.

In addition, automating more systems could lead to fewer labour costs, less risk and arguably more consistent. 

Investing in new hardware to replace, or improve, legacy systems is also a trend that industry leaders are seeing in 2024. This not only allows for greater automation and a lower requirement for maintenance, but also improved efficiencies.

By balancing strategic innovations with investments into renewable energy, data centre operations could successfully reduce their environmental impact whilst continuing to digitally transform around the world.

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