Understanding the Importance of Electrical Consumption, Global Climate Change

by Kevin Kent

The most recent climate change reports have been all over the news.  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP24), among others, report a rapid increase in global temperatures, rising sea levels and temperatures, stronger more frequent storms, wildfires raging out of control, and ice shelves melting three times quicker than previous predictions. 

Researchers estimate there are 8 million data centers across our planet with an estimated 65% (5.2 million facilities) of data center industry electricity being produced from burning fossil fuels.  This past year, data centers consumed more than 416.2 terawatt hours of electricity accounting for approximately 5% of global electrical consumption.  During 2018 global carbon emissions skyrocketed 2.7% to 400ppm (parts per million) reaching an all-time high and expected to continue increasing unless drastic changes are made. 

The data center industry must continue working toward balancing reliability and sustainability.  Experts agree there is no magic bullet to solve this problem, but many actions in many disciplines will be needed.  Renewable energy, microgrids, onsite generation, and AI, are making incredible positive impacts but have yet to reach all of the estimated 8 million data centers worldwide.  To bridge the gap and allow newer technologies to be implemented every day, data center leaders must start with small achievable efficiency goals and reduce as much as possible without sacrificing overall health and reliability of their facility. Such dire times call for strong leadership willing to take action and be capable of driving global change. The data center industry holds the potential for this leadership.  Its influence can be felt around the world providing a roadmap for others to follow while creating a more sustainable culture and a cleaner brighter future for our environment!    Simplicity will be one of the main workshop themes focusing on learning how to achieve more with less and little to no capital expenditure.  This workshop will review three real life data center scenarios while applying the following data center industry energy efficiency techniques aimed at reducing electrical consumption and carbon footprint:

  • How to measure and recorded Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) level 1, 2, and 3
  •  Understanding ASHRAE (The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) standards
  •  Airflow management
  •  Measuring and calculating your data center carbon footprint
  •  Review and practical application of Seattle leaders lab white paper
  •  Review and practical application of data energy efficiency strategies from Australia, Brazil, Chile, England, Spain, and Sweden
  •  How small changes in your data center can add up to big financial savings
  • Review of global data center electrical and carbon footprint reduction
  • Creating an energy efficiency plan for your data center
It’s all about every data center leader starting with small achievable energy efficiency goals aimed towards creating a more sustainable culture and a cleaner brighter future for our planet.  The time to reduce is now!

Learn more about "A Workshop in Achievable Energy Reduction" presented by Kevin Kent on March 19 at 8 a.m. in Phoenix.