Navigating the Path to Data Center Sustainability

Aug. 26, 2022
As data center sustainability becomes an even greater priority, navigating the path to green must be done sensibly. Learn more about the current state of five sustainable energy sources and how each might be a viable solution for data center operators.

The rapid growth of the data center market is challenging operators across the globe – but it’s not the only challenge they face. At the same time that new and developing technologies like artificial intelligence and 5G are driving energy demand, customers are demanding the industry operate more sustainably by reducing its energy consumption and transitioning to more sustainable energy sources. But how do operators navigate this path to sustainability?

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Getting to Green: Paving a Sensible Path to Sustainable Data Centers, featuring Kohler, explores the current state of the five sustainable energy sources recognized by the U.S. Energy Information Administration – solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, hydropower, and batteries. It outlines how each might be a viable solution for data center operators. Check out our recent article series focused on the special report:

A Sensible Path to Data Center SustainabilityWe kick off our article series with a look at the current and predicted future state of the data center market. Poised for rapid growth through at least 2025, the article says that “operators are under particular scrutiny” due to the massive amount of energy data centers consume. We look at stakeholder demands for both power and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The State of Renewable Energy for Data Centers: The U.S. Energy Information Association (EIA) lists five major sources of renewable energy. In this article, we look at the first three – solar, wind, and geothermal energy. We outline the pros and cons of each energy source from a data center operations perspective. The article notes that “geothermal energy is the wild card of renewable alternatives and bears watching.”

Will Battery Storage Solutions Replace Generators?: In this article, we continue our examination of renewable energy sources by considering biomass and hydropower. We also look at how battery storage solutions can reduce the need for diesel-powered generators, at least on a short-term basis. The article says that there are still some challenges to overcome with battery storage technology and that “for the near term, batteries are best used to augment existing UPSs rather than to replace them. This allows operators to transition to cleaner energy while still maintaining a safety net.”

RECs, PPAs, and Other Paths to Renewable EnergyOur final article in the series explores how renewable energy certificates (RECs), power purchase agreements (PPAs), and green business energy tariffs can quickly get your data center on the path to sustainability.

Download the entire special report, Getting to Green: Paving a Sensible Path to Sustainable Data Centers, featuring Kohler, to learn more.

About the Author

Kathy Hitchens

Kathy Hitchens has been writing professionally for more than 30 years. She focuses on the renewable energy, electric vehicle, utility, data center, and financial services sectors. Kathy has a BFA from the University of Arizona and a MBA from the University of Denver.  

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