Data centres: much room for energy efficiency© Dave Wood
JRC launches EU code of conduct for data centres
The EU code of conduct for data centres launched today by the European Commission provides guidelines, recommendations and examples of best practice which could lead to a reduction in energy consumption by data centres in Europe of up to 20%.
Developed over the past two years by the JRC Institute for Energy (IE), in consultation with a range of stakeholders including industry experts, equipment vendors and representatives of both data centre owners and operators, the code should represent a key source of information for those seeking to run an energy efficient data centre.
Data centres, housing computer servers for industry, businesses and administrations across Europe, consumed 56TWh of electricity in 2007. This is roughly equivalent to the total yearly electricity consumption of the Czech Republic and, without specific action to improve energy efficiency, the electricity consumption of data centres is expected to nearly double by 2020. Furthermore, CO2 emissions from the IT-sector, estimated to be 2% of total global CO2 emissions or roughly equivalent to that of the airline industry, would increase significantly.
The key aim of the code of conduct is to inform data centre operators and encourage them to reduce energy consumption without hampering the performance of such facilities. This is achieved through a series of best practice recommendations which focus on design in areas such as software, IT architecture and infrastructure. Industry has responded extremely positively to the code, and a number of operators have already started to implement many of the best practices from earlier drafts.
The JRC has recently launched a number of codes of conducts such as this one in the energy efficiency field. The initiative is in line with the EU's 2020 energy saving targets and reflects the important contribution expected from the ICT sector.