Harmonised global metrics to measure data centre energy efficiency
Energy consumption of data centres is increasing as they expand to support the needs of the digital sector. Data centres in the EU consume around 60 TWh per year and this figure is expected to double by 2020. Energy efficiency measures could save up to a total of 30TWh. It is therefore essential to improve their efficiency. However, the metrics needed to measure their performance are still under development, which hinders the monitoring of this process.
An international taskforce, which includes the JRC, has now agreed on the measurement guidelines for three additional metrics: Green Energy Coefficient (GEC), Energy Reuse Factor (ERF) and Carbon Usage Effectiveness (CUE). The taskforce recommends viewing the various data center efficiency metrics in a multi-parameter framework, which helps data centre owners and operators to identify the impact of changes made.
The taskforce is composed of a group of organisations that has been meeting regularly to agree on standard and reporting conventions for key energy efficiency metrics. These are: the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office and Federal energy management programs, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR program, the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan's Green IT Promotion Council and the Green Grid.
This international taskforce intends to continue collaboration as an ongoing effort to improve data centre energy efficiency.