The Great Debate UK
–Cyrille Brisson is EMEA Vice President of Power Quality at Eaton. The opinions expressed are his own.–
Last month, British wholesale gas prices surged to a record high after one of the UK’s main import pipelines was temporarily shut by a technical fault, and continuing wintry weather led to delays restocking the domestic gas supply.
Not only do the power shortages threaten availability, they are also pushing the costs of energy up, which is having an effect on an area that is proving to be the engine room of growth: data centres. With the data centre market growing at 25% between 2010 and 2011 in the UK, according to Datacenter Dynamics, 2012 saw 7.6 million square metres of data centre space available, £2 billion in investment and 6.4 Gigawatts of energy consumed – enough to power six million homes.
To combat this we need a regulatory environment and company culture that rewards efficiency. At the moment, data centre managers often have few incentives to pursue energy efficiency and worse, well-intended regulation (in the form of the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme) is actually driving investment in greener data centres outside the UK.
–Cyrille Brisson is EMEA Vice President of Power Quality, Eaton Corporation. The opinions expressed are his own.–
A recent New York Times article suggested that most modern data centres are hugely inefficient — so inefficient, in fact, that they waste 90 per cent or more of the electricity that they take from the grid. If you are a data centre manager, your employment is directly linked to your ability to keep things running. In this context, it is understandable that the efficient use of energy has historically been a secondary concern for data centre operators.