On Sunday Christopher Booker commented on one of Parliament’s more bizarre decisions when an empty House of Commons agreed to cut UK electricity consumption by 27% by 2020 and 40% by 2030, Meanwhile the UK is moving into an on-line world, dependent on 24 by 7 data centres. The first estimate that I found for the electricity consumption of data centres appeared to indicate that they already account for 7% of base load on a wet December day. This was based on a power demand of 2GW. However, the Data Dynamics Global Census for 2012 indicates that UK data Centre demand is already 2.85 GW, so that would imply that the current reality is nearer 10% of base demand. More-over the power demand from data centres is rising sharply as we move into the “Cloud”.
The Data Dynamics Census indicates a global growth in demand from data centres of 60%: let us assume that the UK is half that, as data centres are moved off shore to where electicity is cheaper and regulation less onerous. That implies that data centres will be taking up over third of the current UK winter base load by the time that the House of Commons said that demand must be cut by a third.
How much of the rest of the UK base load is taken up by always-on systems and will that grow or diminish as we transition via Ubiquitous Broadband to the Internet of Things?
This looks to me linke a much bigger threat to the on-line world than PRISM, the Communications Bill or EU Data Protection Legislation, where I was delighted to see a Minister finally giving an estimate of the cost to business (even if does omit the cost to the ecnomy of business moving off-shore)
Will some-one please tell me that I have got this badly wrong.
Or have I just uncovered the business case for off-shore and long-term investors to fund the new Severn Lagoons project, with Nuclear Power stations on the English side, to supply a consortium of data centre operators on equally long term contracts – and will they be allowed to do so, outside the constraints of the Energy Bill?