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Data centers unprepared for new European energy efficiency regulations

Data centers unprepared for new European energy efficiency regulations

Data centers unprepared for new European energy efficiency regulations

For IT equipment inventories, the path forward is more straightforward, with DCIM and ITIM platforms widely available to help enterprises track their servers and storage equipment. There are also inventory systems that automatically collect asset information, says Dietrich. “Their software searches your whole network, identifies the assets and captures data for you. Those systems are out there that you can find and deploy.”

But that doesn’t mean that enterprises are using them. According to the Uptime survey, 69% of data center operators know what server equipment they have and 62% know what storage they have. But only 31% track which data centers that equipment is located in. In addition, 28% say that their equipment inventory is housed in different systems with limited ability to exchange data.

He recommends that European data center operators act quickly to find a simple methodology to provide a representative estimate of missing data. “Nobody is going to have a perfect number here,” he says. “There’s going to be a lot of uncertainty with it. But there are approaches that will provide a reasonable estimate to start with.”

He also suggests that it would be a good idea for an industry group to take the lead on coming up with a recommended methodology to help the industry get started. “Green Grid is working on that, but it’s a ways from being finished,” he says. (The Green Grid launched a new tool to measure data center efficiency this past February.)

End goal is to improve overall energy efficiency

The directive is part of the European Union’s plan to achieve an 11.7% reduction in energy use by 2030, and it is expected to include new sustainability standards for data centers in 2025. In addition, Germany will mandate a power usage effectiveness of 1.2 for new data centers by 2026.

According to the Uptime Institute, the average power usage effectiveness of data centers was 1.58 this year, down from 2.5 in 2007, but up from 1.55 last year.

The drive to reduce data center energy costs is exacerbated by the fact that demand for data centers is up. According to services firm JLL, the global colocation data center market size is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.3% through 2026, and the hyperscale marker is expected to grow even faster, with a CAGR of 20%.

Power consumption of European data centers is expected to increase from 100 terawatt hours in 2022 to 115 in 2026, according to S&P Global. Fortunately, the newest data centers tend to be most efficient, according to the Uptime Institute. Newly constructed European data centers have an average PUE of 1.4.

Hyperscalers are doing even better. Google, for example, now reports an average power usage effectiveness of 1.1. Microsoft says that its newest data centers have a power usage effectiveness of 1.12.

Meanwhile, regulation is already having an impact on data center efficiency. As a result of new regulations, 38% of data center operators are investing in more efficient facilities equipment, and 34% are investing in more efficient IT. In addition, 29% are increasing the metrics they track, according to the latest Uptime Institute survey.

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