IT trade body Intellect is calling for the chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne to abandon the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC).
Intellect argues that, since datacentres underpin a modern digital economy, the growth in data volumes is leading to increased IT investment. However, according to Intellect, investment is however already going elsewhere.
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Intellect argues that the UK’s overly complex legislation and burdensome taxes – with CRC as a tax on energy consumption – is a deterrent to investment.
Ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, Julian David, director general of Intellect said: “It is of great concern that other European nations are putting in place legislative frameworks and tax incentives to foster growth, whereas in the UK we are doing the exact opposite. As a first step, but by no means the solution, we must scrap the CRC and implement a specific climate change agreement for datacentres.”
Read more about green datacentre measures
Antony Walker, deputy director, Intellect said: “Climate change agreements were developed for energy-intensive sectors, like aluminium production. Nobody really considered datacentres.” He said that in terms of energy usage, a datacentre is not analogous to a large factory, where the CRC is used to hammer down energy usage.
Walker said CRC puts a price on energy use, which affects the take-up of datacentre facilities. “As the industry increases its energy use, it will get increasingly penalised.” Intellect argues that a climate change agreement would recognise that datacentres are energy-intensive.
But, since they aggregate computing and storage in a single place, they are more efficient than running multiple smaller sites.
“As more stuff goes into the cloud, you aggregate computing. A datacentre is the most efficient place to run computing,” said Walker.