It may be hard to imagine, but achieving net zero carbon emissions is more than feasible today. It’s already happening in certain countries and sectors worldwide, especially in data center industry.
Net zero is defined as an operating state where the amount of energy used by a process or facility is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on-site. This includes solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal heat pumps, and even landfill gas recovery systems.
Achieving Net Zero Carbon Emissions
During the last decade, the industry has significantly reduced carbon emissions from the data center industry. However, these reductions were mainly a result of tighter integration of data centers into their respective power grids, with efficiency gains coming from power distribution and transmission losses.
These gains are now leveling off as most data centers are almost fully optimized for their grids. To continue to improve efficiencies, data centers will need to develop new strategies for achieving significant reductions in carbon emissions from the data center industry.
Data centers are inherently large electricity users since they use high amounts of power for cooling and power distribution infrastructure, which further increases the importance of achieving zero carbon emissions in this industry.
Data Center Sustainability Trends
Data center sustainability is a hot topic right now, with many companies taking the lead on green initiatives—and the competition is fierce. There are plenty of factors to consider when implementing sustainability practices, and everyone has a different approach. But with all of the buzz around data centers and their impact on the environment, and so many companies fighting to be at the top of the list for sustainable practices, it’s hard to pinpoint which ones have an impact.
The report from 2017 shows that energy consumption increased by 8.3%, and total greenhouse gas emissions increased by 2.1%. This increase might be because of new technologies like cloud computing, which has changed how data centers work and consumes more energy. The Energy Star program aims to reduce computer system energy consumption by at least 20% in 5 years, which is almost impossible for data centers.
What Can Data Center Industry Do?
Achieving sustainability in data centers seems like it might be an impossible goal, but there is plenty of promising news—new technologies are emerging that could help us get there. For example:
- More server efficiency: New server models have been introduced that use significantly less power than before, potentially reducing overall energy consumption by 25% or more.
- More efficient data center cooling: Data centers can consume billions of dollars worth of air conditioning annually, but new designs are emerging that allow data centers to reduce the amount of cooling they need by up to 75%.-Virtualization: Virtualization technology is already reducing some data center power consumption by as much as 50%.
- Green IT Certifications: Green IT certifications have been developed for organizations looking to measure and improve their environmental performance.
Net Zero Carbon Building
Data center sustainability has improved over the last decade. Sustainability has become a significant focus for Google, Facebook and Amazon. Each company has its way of measuring the carbon footprint of its data centers.
There are many ways to measure the carbon footprint of a data center.
One way is to use the EEM-2 model from the Uptime Institute.
The EEM-2 model comprises 12 factors evaluated into five categories: Energy & Atmosphere, Environment, Materials & Resources, Economy, and Society. Another method to measure carbon footprints is through a tool created by Google called Project Sunroof. This tool allows anyone to find out how much it would cost to install solar panels in their home or business. Data centers are measured by cooling power consumption and the amount of energy used per square meter. These measurements will help data centers reduce their carbon footprints in addition to assisting them in saving money.
South-East Asia Data Center is Growing Fast
The cloud computing industry is growing fast, and it won’t be long before it overtakes the traditional data center market. The region of South-East Asia is a driving market for this trend, with Indonesia as one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. This has been great news for the local cloud computing industry, which has grown from strength to strength along with the rapidly growing IT sector.
Indonesia has tremendous growth in data center industry
Indonesia will account for more than half of that growth, and the country has already become a hotspot for cloud service providers.
Data centers are springing up all over the country, and Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Bekasi, and Semarang are among the top cities getting an influx of new centers. This is because these cities have become attractive locations for businesses seeking to establish a presence in Asia. This trend is expected to continue as Indonesia’s infrastructure develops alongside its business community.
Although it’s still early days, there is already talk of building a “data city” on the outskirts of Jakarta that would bring together existing data centers with those planned or under construction. A few companies have already set their sights on becoming part of this development, and if it all comes to fruition, then Indonesia will be a hub of data center activity in Southeast Asia.
With the exponential growth of technology, companies are now more than ever competing for the best service, products, and infrastructure. In this race to be the best, one factor often left behind is how well or poorly these companies are expanding.
To bring transparency to the industry and ensure companies are doing as much as they can to mitigate their carbon footprint, Greenpeace released an article entitled “Dirty Data Centres,” in which it slaps some of the biggest names in technology on the wrist for their energy-wasting practices.
To be more specific, Indonesia needs more green data centers with low cost to achieve zero carbon emissions. However, the most important is that the facility must be reliable and secure for customer information.
The world has been increasingly facing the threat of climate change, which poses a significant risk to human life and the environment. Consequently, governments and businesses around the globe have been trying to reduce their carbon footprint. Some data centers have started to make efforts to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.
Data center operators must understand that achieving net zero carbon emissions is not just a good idea to limit their environmental impact; it’s also essential for running a cost-effective operation.