Colt reduces energy usage by 18% across European data centres

After enjoying it's own savings, Colt says European data centre operations could save up to a fifth on their energy costs through efficiency gains.

Colt has announced a reduction in energy usage of 18 percent across its European data centre estate as part of a continuous energy efficiency programme that commenced in 2010.

Over a three year period the programme achieved savings in annual electricity usage of 43 gigawatt hours (GWh), equivalent to a reduction in CO2 footprint of 15,000 tonnes and savings of €4 million in power costs per annum.

Colt said: "With electricity consumption by Europe’s data centres projected to reach 104,000 GWh (104 TWh) by 2020, up from 60 TWh at present, there is a pressing demand within the industry for greater energy efficiencies, to minimise both carbon footprint and energy consumption."

Across the industry Colt said energy usage currently accounts for 30 to 50 percent of data centre operating costs.

Based on its efficiencies achieved over the last three years, Colt believes that "without significant capital investment", on a like-for-like basis, an initial reduction in annual energy usage of 5 percent (3 TWh) is a "realistic minimum target" for Europe’s data centre industry.

An industry-wide reduction of this scale would reduce the industry’s CO2 footprint by over 1.2 million tonnes and yield savings of almost £250 million in operating costs per annum, said Colt.

"This would provide an environmental impact equivalent to mitigating the total annual electricity consumption of approximately 740,000 households in the UK - 3.5 times the number of households in the city of Manchester,” said Colt.

Colt is an endorser of the EU Code of Conduct on Energy Efficiency in data centres. It has data centres across Europe, including three in the UK. As part of its energy efficiency efforts the company upgraded cooling units, chiller equipment and uninterrupted power supply (UPS) systems.

Ian Dixon, VP of operations at Colt, said: "Substantial energy savings can be achieved by targeting efficiencies within individual data halls and across the entire data centre infrastructure.

"These savings can readily be obtained through a series of simple steps that provide sizeable returns within a twelve to eighteen month timeframe. There is no reason why these reductions cannot be replicated across the industry as a whole.”

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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