Data Centre Energy Use
Cloud computing, content delivery networks and cloud-based enterprise applications are among the many data centre services and operations for which massive amount of power is consumed. The continuous upward trend of using high-performance computing equipment, trading energy use for increased performance intensifies the issue by driving up energy footprint of data centres even further. It is estimated that the data centre industry consumes three to five percent of the world’s global energy use1. Sustainable energy utilization and environmental impacts has become the top issues among data centre operators and government bodies around the world.
Sustainable Data Centres Around the World
Japan’s quest for zero-emission data centres is utilizing the world’s oldest cooling system: snow. Japanese companies are building data centres in colder regions where snow helps to take the heat off with reduced reliance on air-conditioning for cooling2.
As its focused initiative on data centre efficiency and sustainability, Google’s data centres in Hamina, Finland were built using the icy sea water from the Gulf of Finland to cool the server rooms, which also limits the facility's impact on local water utilities3.
Facebook’s data centre in Odense, Denmark features an award-winning system that recycles excess heat from data halls to warm homes in the neighbouring community4.
To tackle energy use and sustainability, data centres here in Hong Kong primarily focus on conservation and efficiency rather than renewable energy or weather-related cooling method. The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) of Hong Kong leads the effort in green computing initiatives, which addresses energy efficient data centre design, procurement, operations, and disposal.