Green Grid lays out ambitious action program

By Ambrose McNevin, Techworld.com |  Green IT

A lack of E.U. regulatory or voluntary initiatives addressing
the energy efficiency of data centres risked the creation of "confusion,
mixed messages and uncoordinated activities," industry consortium the Green
Grid was told this week.

The consortium held its technical committee meeting in San Francisco this week
with input from U.S., Japanese and European concerns.

From a European perspective it was said that there was a "need for independent
assessment and coordination tailored to European conditions such as the climate
and energy markets regulation" and a proposed Code of Conduct "to
provide a platform to bring together European stakeholders to discuss and agree
voluntary actions which will improve energy efficiency."

The committee heard that data center energy use in U.S. by 2011 will equal
100 billion kWh or 2.5 percent of total electricity costing about US$7 billion.
In 2006, it was $4.5 billion. Power demand is growing by 12 percent per year
and cooling and power needs can be described as "industrial in terms of
size and complexity."

The grid laid out a number of initiatives including save energy now, outlined
metrics for energy use in data centers and attempted to lay the ground work
for international agreements on a code of conduct, product specifications and
best practice.

The consortium set its goal of a 10 percent data center energy savings by 2011,
equivalent to cutting 10.7 billion kWh and reducing green house gas emissions
by 6.5 million tonnes of CO2.

By 2011 the Green Grid hopes to achieve collective goals of 3000 US data centers
to have completed awareness training and 1500 to have applied assessment tools
to cut energy use. The initial target is also for 200 enterprise data centers
to have improved energy efficiency through accelerated virtualisation, deployment
of high efficiency servers, use of new power sources such as fuel cells, optimised
cooling and combining heat and power systems. It aims to have 200 qualified
specialists in data center energy efficiency to be have been appointed.

It is hoped that the the savings will be made through power conversion and
distribution, high voltage distribution, move to DC power, alternative power
generation such as on site generation through renewables, and use of fuel cells
and waste heat for cooling.

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