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December 2018-February 2019

Dividing lines: EU bid to curb server energy use has the European datacentre community split

Finding ways to improve energy efficiency of their sites is an undisputed top priority for datacentre operators, given just how big a line item power costs are for so many of them. For this reason, one might think an EU-backed legislative push that could potentially lower the collective power consumption of datacentres across Europe would be warmly welcomed by the industry and its assorted stakeholders, but – in reality – the initiative is proving to be surprisingly divisive. “ICT has delivered amazing efficiency improvements over the last few decades without the help of regulation but Moore’s Law cannot go on for ever, and the datacentre sector is a significant energy user,” Emma Fryer, associate director of climate change programmes at technology trade body, TechUK, tells Computer Weekly. “However you look at it, as the [datacentre] sector grows, we do have to accept increasing regulatory scrutiny.” Through legislation such as the proposed EU EcoDesign Directive, which is mooted as a means of improving the energy efficiency of...

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