Green laws drive datacentre rethink


Green laws drive datacentre rethink

Cliff Saran

Legislation covering building planning and carbon emissions, together with expected hikes in the cost of electricity, could affect the design and operation of datacentres, IT ­directors have been told.

The warning, from experts presenting at tomorrow's (25 October) Power and Cooling for Data Centres Summit 2006 in London, comes as demand for datacentre capacity continues to climb.

But with suitable sites increasingly hard to find due to inadequate electricity supplies, and legislation expected to drive greater energy efficiency within the datacentre, IT directors may have to rethink their priorities in this area.

Charlotte Eddington, a senior surveyor at CB Richard Ellis, said, "The Greater London Authority is recommending that 10% of energy for new developments comes from renewable sources, and the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive is forcing buildings to be more energy efficient."

She said it was also only a matter of time before datacentres were brought into the EU Emission Trading Scheme, under which industrial plants are taxed on their carbon emissions. "IT is a very high energy user in the UK, so there is a greater need for datacentre power efficiency," said Eddington.

Another factor affecting the building of new datacentres is that they often require an upgraded electricity supply. Keith Breed, author of a BroadGroup datacentre report, said there was a shortage of electricity in Europe, which could lead to price hikes, as electricity providers attempt to recoup the cost of building new infrastructure to cope with demand.

"Electricity costs have been rising over the past two years and they are 30% of datacentre operating costs," he said.

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