Emerson Network Power has found that 43% of European IT professionals are unaware of the EU 20-20-20 Renewable Energy Directive. The aim of the Directive is to, by 2020, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% (compared with 1990), increase the share of renewable energy consumption to 20% and increase energy efficiency by 20%.
To find out how IT companies and their employees are working towards more environmentally-friendly operations and facilities, Emerson surveyed 341 IT professionals from the data centre industry in Europe. The survey found that only 21% of have already taken action to address the requirements of the directive. Of those who are familiar with the requirements, 63% registered concern at the effect the directive will have on their data centre operations.
The survey also revealed that:
Knowledge of the targets had influenced nearly three in five IT Professionals (57%) to procure more energy efficient IT equipment.
Almost three quarters (72%) see energy efficiency is one of, or the most important consideration when purchasing data centre equipment.
Few have considered moving their data centres to countries with fewer restrictions as a result of the targets – just 3% have implemented such a strategy.
For half the sample solar power is the preferred renewable energy source to power their primary data centre, but they also said that cost was the number one reason for not adopting renewable energy.
“This survey has shown us that the EU 20-20-20 directive is going to have a lasting impact on data centres, and despite the deadline still being eight years away, IT professionals have to act now. We can already see how these targets are compelling organisations to change the way they work and buy IT equipment” said Emiliano Cevenini, vice president power sales, Emerson Network Power in EMEA.
Review: Given the existence of the EU Code of Conduct on Data Centres Energy Efficiency, introduced to help address the EU energy targets, this is a disappointing result. Although I guess it may be that people are aware of the Code of Conduct but not necessarily of the Directive that drove it in the first place.
It’s no real surprise that acquiring more energy-efficient equipment is top of the list of actions. It’s an easy thing to do and brings fast pay-back in terms of energy cost savings. But only around half of those surveyed were actually monitoring and measuring their data centre efficiency, which means that half haven’t a clue how much electricity their data centres are consuming and what energy was being saved!
And there’s the real problem. There is still a substantial proportion (perhaps even the majority) of companies running data centres that have not even measured their power consumption. More energy efficient IT is only going to really happen when IT takes full responsibility for the cost of the power it uses. Ultimately data centres need to be judged on their emissions, so that renewable energy is also taken into consideration, but that’s a long way off yet (except for the Google’s of this world).