Management of energy efficiency in data centres - Energy Efficiency Council and BECWG

On 6 April 2022, Australia's Energy Efficiency Council co-hosted a webinar on the topic of management of energy efficiency in data centres with the Building Energy Codes Working Group (BECWG) under the International Energy Agency Energy in Buildings and Communities (IEA EBC) Programme.

Global internet traffic surged by more than 40 per cent in 2020 driven by increased video streaming, video conferencing, online gaming and social networking. This growth came on top of rising demand for digital services over the past decade; since 2010, the number of internet users worldwide has doubled, while global internet traffic has expanded 15-fold.

Rapid improvements in energy efficiency have, however, helped limit energy demand growth from data centres, which account for approximately one to two per cent of global electricity use. As demand for data services continues to grow, strong government and industry efforts on energy efficiency, renewables procurement and RD&D will be essential to curb energy demand and emissions growth in data centres over the next decade.

Launch of the International Data Centre Review report

The Australian Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources is an active member of the IEA EBC Programme and BECWG and commissioned a report on its behalf that reviews best practice energy and carbon management in data centres around the world, and supports governments with driving data centre emissions reductions into the future.

This report was launched at the event, with Fiona Brocklehurst, an independent sustainable energy consultant, and the report author, providing an overview of opportunities for government action to support energy and emissions reductions in data centres. Fiona was joined by:

George Kamiya, Digital/Energy Analyst from the IEA, and author of the IEA’s annual Data Centres and Data Transmission Networks tracking report; and
Ian Hoffman from the Center of Expertise for Energy Efficiency in Data Centers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, who will provide an overview of how the US has supported the adoption of federal statutes and policies to drive down emissions and to decarbonise data centres.

The webinar was chaired by Holly Taylor, Head of Projects at Australia’s Energy Efficiency Council, and received an introduction to the work of the BECWG from David Nemtzow, Senior Advisor, Loan Programs Office, U.S. Department of Energy, and Operating Agent of the BECWG.

The report can be viewed here: https://www.iea-ebc.org/Data/publications/EBC_WG_BECs_Data_Centers_March_2022.pdf

Fiona's slides can be found here: https://www.eec.org.au/uploads/Webinars/Brocklehurst_BECWG_Slides_Apr%202022.pdf
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