EPA To Study Data Centers' Energy Efficiency
January 2007 - Energy Efficiency
A bill recently signed by President Bush requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to study the rapid growth and energy consumption of data centers, one of several steps taken across the industry in recent months that attempts to combat spiraling energy use in data centers.
The study will examine the computer industry's migration to more energy-efficient servers and analyze the potential impacts on costs, energy use, and performance of using more energy-efficient technologies. The study also will examine current government incentives for energy-efficient data centers and servers and will recommend potential incentives and voluntary programs to promote their adoption. Finally, it will analyze the potential cost savings and benefits from using stationary fuel cells for backup power.
A number of industry activities have underscored the importance of data center energy efficiency. In November, California's Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) began offering rebates for data centers that use software to make the best use of their server resources, a technique that allows data centers to accomplish the same tasks with less servers. Click here to see the press release.
In December, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers issued new liquid cooling guidelines for data centers. Click here to read the press release.
DOE also has been heavily involved in data-center energy efficiency. Its Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) has long been involved in data center energy efficiency and recently helped launch two demonstration projects to examine the benefits of running data centers on direct-current (DC) power. LBNL also has launched a web site to help data center designers and operators achieve greater energy efficiency.
See the archive of news items on the EERE Web site.
Finally, see the LBNL web sites on its data center studies and on data center energy management .