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Renewable Energy at the Data Center

We know energy efficiency is critical in our homes, but often that efficiency needs to start somewhere else—like at the data centers. Here’s a glimpse at how companies are making a big difference at the data center, and what is to come in the days ahead.

Last week at Microsoft Ignite, Satya Nadella made several announcements from the stage. Naturally, he talked about the AI (artificial intelligence) infrastructure layer and the approach to Azure, which is redefining everything across the fleet and the data center, but of course that starts with how we power the data center. He explains, as Microsoft is building the data centers, it is also working to source renewable power.

“Today we are one of the largest buyers of renewable energy around the globe. We have sourced over 19 gigawatts of renewable energy since 2013,” he says. “Just to put that into perspective that is the equivalent to the annual production of 10 hoover dams.”

In his keynote, Nadella explains the company is working with producers to bring new energy from wind, solar, geothermal, and nuclear fusion as well.

“As we pursue this ambition, to not just be carbon free, but even to raise our historical carbon emissions, I am really excited to share we are on track to meet our target of generating 100% of the energy we use in our data centers from zero carbon sources by 2025,” he says.

This ambition has significant advantages at data centers and eventually for the entire world. Innovation is all around us, as it relates to sustainability, and it will certainly bring greater sustainability to communities and data centers all around the world.

Much of the research suggests this trend is going to grow in the days ahead. In fact, research from Dell’Oro Group suggests AI infrastructure spending will propel data center capex to more than half a trillion dollars by 2027, with worldwide data center capex forecast to grow 15% by 2027.

Further, the organization estimates accelerated servers could account for nearly 30% of total data center capex by 2027. I recently had an opportunity to chat with Baron Fung, senior research director for Data Center Capex, Dell’Oro Group, who suggests we are entering a new era in which efficient computing will be a key focus, which means deploying more purpose-built solutions with accelerators that are optimized for certain workloads, particularly AI.

This is certainly going to be a trend to watch in the days ahead, as AI proliferates many aspects of our lives, including the data center, to make it more efficient, as some aim to generate all of the energy from zero carbon sources by 2025.Want to tweet about this article? Use hashtags #IoT #sustainability #AI #5G #cloud #edge #futureofwork #digitaltransformation #green #ecosystem #environmental #circularworld #workeroftomorrow

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