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Development of the market for energy efficient servers (E-SERVER)

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Server hardware and infrastructure strongly contribute to the energy consumption and the operating costs of IT equipment in private an public services. Energy costs for the operation of servers are expected to exceed the procurement costs of server hardware by 2015. The implementation of energy efficient server hardware and software allows a significant reduction of energy consumption and operating costs for both the IT-system and for cooling. Depending on the technology implemented energy savings of 20% to 70% can be achieved. The E-Server project aimed at a stimulation of the market for energy efficient servers by demonstrating the energy saving potential and by removing market barriers on the demand side.


  • A comprehensive study on the energy saving potential in EU-27 has shown that server hardware and infrastructure consume 1,5% of total European electricity consumption. This is equivalent to 40TWh/a. According to current trends the electricity demand of server IT hardware and infrastructure will double between 2006 and 2011 unless counteracting measures are implemented.
  • Moderate measures supporting server energy efficiency could help to reduce the energy demand significantly. Annual energy consumption in data centres could be reduced by about 25% by 2011 compared to a business-as-usual scenario. More aggressive measures would lead to annual energy savings of 50% to 60% and cost savings of several billion EURO.
  • The E-Server project strongly contributed to the development of the first energy efficiency criteria for servers in the US/EU Energy Star programme. The criteria address volume servers up to 2 CPUs and focus on power supply efficiency and energy consumption in idle mode. Energy efficiency criteria serve as a central basis for green procurement and thus are an essential tool to support market development.
  • Best practise case studies conducted in small, medium size and large enterprises confirmed an average energy saving potential of about 60%. Depending on the initial situation, the specific applications addressed and the technology implemented energy savings between 25 and more than 90% could be achieved. The case studies demonstrated that efficient technology can be effectively implemented in practise without negatively affecting performance and safety.
  • Based on the results from the project guidelines for the procurement and management of energy efficient servers have been developed and disseminated at international level. The guidelines cover energy efficiency criteria, efficient technologies and the effective implementation of measures.

Lessons learned

  • An analysis of the current barriers showed that the current allocation of competences and responsibilities in companies are often limiting energy efficiency measures: experts responsible for the procurement of hardware are not responsible for energy costs. Thus there is a lack of incentives regarding the consideration of energy efficiency as a procurement and management criterion. This is a major barrier also known from other areas of technology which still has to be addressed in future work.
  • The E-Server project helped to implement first important measures towards an energy efficient market development especially by supporting the development of energy efficiency criteria, by implementing best practise and by providing procurement guidelines for energy efficient solutions. However activities supporting the distribution of energy efficient central IT equipment have been started at a world wide scale in 2007 only (in parallel to E-Server).
  • Consequently further concerted action will be needed to broadly implement efficient technology in the market. This work will involve education/training, certification but also further development of efficiency criteria and tools to support public and private procurement. Some relevant types of equipment have hardly been addressed so far (storage, network equipment etc.)

Partners and coordinator

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Österreichische Energieagentur
Contact point: 
Mr Reinhard Jellinek
Bernd Schaeppi
0043 1 586 15 24
Dr Bernd Schäppi
+43 1 586 15 24
G?nter R. Simader
Bernd Schäppi
+43 1 586 15 24-147
Marton Varga
0043 1 586 15 24 - 72


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In brief

01/01/2007 to 30/04/2009
Contract number: 

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