Luxembourg's energy minister calls for EU action on energy guzzling data centres
The growing energy demand of going digital, with data centres being at the heart, is a big issue, according to Claude Turmes, Luxembourg's minister for energy and spatial planning. Google's planned Euro1bn data centre in Luxembourg will consume as much energy as the country's steel sector. It puts at risk the achievement of the country's climate and energy targets, while requiring building costly new supply infrastructure and purchasing renewable energy certificates from abroad to meet the data centre's demand for 24/24 steady energy supply.
Against this backdrop, experts from the Commission, industry and technology providers, confirmed at a workshop in Brussels that there is a significant and yet untapped energy savings potential in the sector. In the absence of regulatory standards, the Commission's JRC has developed a Code of Conduct, but it has reached less than 5% of the EU's data centres since 2007. Immediate energy saving options identified by the experts include, operating data centres at higher temperatures reducing cooling demand, switch from air to liquid cooling which would provide also other system benefits and to re-use waste heat in nearby buildings.