Wednesday, November 11, 2009

data center energy efficiency

EPA ENERGY STAR Program released to Congress a report assessing opportunities for energy efficiency improvements for government and commercial computer servers and data centers in the United States.

The study projects near-term growth in energy use of U.S. computer servers and data centers, assesses potential cost and energy savings related to computer server and data center energy efficiency improvements, and recommends potential incentives and voluntary programs to promote energy-efficient computer servers and data centers. The report complements EPA’s ongoing efforts to develop new energy efficiency specifications for data servers, including market and technical research, industry collaboration, and explorations into a new ENERGY STAR buildings benchmark for data centers which reflects whole building operations.

The report recommends a mix of programs and incentives, as well as a holistic approach to achieve significant savings. Recommendations include:

* Collaborating with industry and other stakeholders on the development of a standardized whole-building performance rating system for data centers.
* Federal leadership through implementation of best practices for its own facilities.
* Development of ENERGY STAR specifications for servers and related product categories.
* Encouraging electric utilities to offer financial incentives to facilitate datacenter energy efficiency improvements.
* The Federal government should partner with industry to issue a CEO Challenge, for private-sector CEOs to assess and improve the energy efficiency of their data centers.
* Public/private research and development into advanced technology and practices including computing software, IT hardware, power conversion, heat removal, controls and management, and cross-cutting activities.

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