Sustainable Data Centers are Good for Business and Great for the Environment
As data center growth accelerates due to demand from device proliferation, IoT, and SaaS providers, so too does the demand of energy that they consume. According to a Cisco white paper, “Global Cloud Index,” which investigated how the cloud space will evolve over the next four years, cloud services growth will continue to expand and transform both the scope of data centers and the supporting data center ecosphere.
According to a new study of data center energy use, the demand for data center capacity in the US has grown tremendously over the last five years - yet total data center energy consumption marginally increased.
So why is data center energy consumption not increasing at the same pace as data center growth? One reason is due to the result of energy efficiencies being put in place to increase the amount of renewable energy used by data centers. Not only do these renewable energy methods make data centers more efficient, but they also provide credit opportunities for companies who use sustainable energy. Increasingly, more business executives and data center providers are prioritizing becoming green in order to maximize energy efficiency and minimize environmental impact.
A 2016 report from the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) found that electricity consumption by data centers nationwide, after rising rapidly for more than a decade, started to plateau in 2010. In the last 6-7 years, data center energy consumption has remained steady, and is now at just under 2 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption. This trend is expected to continue as more and more enterprise CEO’s, CIO’s and CTO’s see the effect that ’green’ data centers have on not only their carbon footprint, but also on IT infrastructure energy costs.
According to DataCenterKnowledge.com, the chart below shows the past and projected growth rate of the total US data center energy use from 2000 until 2020. It also illustrates how much faster data center energy use would have grown had the industry halted future efficiency improvements after 2010.
Regulations and awards are both major reasons why technology companies (such as data center providers) are aggressively trying to implement practices and promote green energy. The EPA is honoring these companies by including them in the EPA's Green Power Partnership Top 30, which lists the largest green power users among technology and telecommunications partners. We’re proud to share with you that vXchnge was recently ranked #26 on EPA's list of Top 30 Technology and Telecommunications Companies using green power.
Data center providers such as vXchnge are aggressively implementing best practices to reduce data center carbon footprint in order to increase industry and environmental sustainability. For our part, we recently began several targeted environmental initiatives at six of our data centers around the country, including Westchester, NY; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; Secaucus, NJ; Santa Clara, CA; and Austin, TX. Taken together, these energy efficiency and green power initiatives will enable the company to provide more sustainable solutions and enhanced reliability to its customers.