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Government's CRC scheme boosts data centre energy management

New research suggests that the government's carbon reduction legislation is taking effect

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Almost three-quarters of data centres now have energy management policies in place – a massive leap since before the launch of the government’s CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme in 2010.

According to new research from the organisers of Data Centre World 2012, 71 percent of data centres managers have now implemented an energy management strategy, compared to just 10 percent four years ago.

In the survey of IT decision makers, 44 percent said that the introduction of the government’s CRC legislation has led directly to greater efficiency in their data centre.

The CRC legislation, which forces large organisations to monitor their emissions and purchase allowances for each tonne of CO2 produced by the energy they use, aims to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent of 1990 levels by 2050.

Under the original terms of the CRC agreement, it was said that funds raised from the purchase of CO2 allowances would be pumped back into the system, rewarding those firms that cut their bills the most. However, the government's 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review stated that the money would will be used to reduce the deficit rather than recycled to participants.

Opponents of the CRC legislation have dubbed it a “stealth tax,” and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called for the scheme to be scrapped, claiming that it “lacks credibility and has lost businesses’ trust”.

While the news that more companies are implementing energy management policies bodes well for the scheme, a separate survey by Data Centre World last month revealed that 76 percent of the UK’s data centres expect their energy use to increase in 2012 – some by more than 25 percent.

This is largely due to the use of inefficient equipment and a failure by data centre managers to measure and monitor the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rate of their facilities.

“If we’re to see a credible reduction in data centre carbon footprint in our lifetime, the industry needs to embrace innovative green technologies available to cool and power facilities across the UK,” said John Hatcher, Data Centre World conference director, at the time.

The latest research shows that organisations are starting to follow this advice, with 71 percent claiming to have replaced inefficient equipment, 67 percent having optimised cooling and airflow, and 61 percent having implemented server virtualisation.

Data Centre World will take place on 29 February – 1 March at the Olympia in London. To register or for additional information, visit http://www.datacentreworld.com



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