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DOE, Green Grid Aim to Slash Data Center Energy Use
In a move aimed at improving energy efficiency in the rapidly growing data center industry, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Green Grid.
Assistant Secretary Karsner and John Tuccillo, director of The Green Grid, signed the MOU at the New York Stock Exchange, kicking off a day of in-depth discussions with operators of financial services data centers.
“Data centers represent an important part of the information economy, and joining forces with The Green Grid puts us on a path to identify and build the necessary tools for thousands of data centers to more easily capture energy savings,” Karsner says.
The DOE-Green Grid MOU intends to focus on assisting data center operators and facilities to initiate and implement an energy management program and adopt clean energy and efficiency technologies.
Specifically, the MOU identifies future activities DOE and The Green Grid may collaborate on to: develop a common set of metrics and tools; develop a website so data centers can easily access tools and resources to initiate and implement an energy management program; encourage data centers to obtain energy savings assessments; train company personnel in conducting energy savings assessments and in using tools to identify energy efficiency enhancements; and define areas of pre-competitive research and development for data center operations.
As part of Assistant Secretary Karsner’s discussions today, DOE and The Green Grid have also set a common goal of improving overall energy efficiency in data centers by 10 percent by 2011, factoring in current projected data center use.
If the target is met, it would lead to a savings of about 10 billion kilowatt-hours would be saved, equivalent to electricity consumed by 1 million U.S. households annually. The energy savings would also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 6.5 million tons per year – equivalent to removing nearly 1.3 million cars from the road annually.
Because data centers are among the fastest growing industries in the United States, DOE has identified them as key to increasing energy efficiency, reducing load on the electricity grid, and enhancing data center reliability. An EPA study found that last year, data centers were estimated to have used 61 billion kilowatt-hours, or 1.5 percent of electricity in the United States, and it is projected to grow 12 percent per year through 2011.