Digital innovation is changing societies, economies and industries with a scale and speed like never before. Yet, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is also an ever-growing energy consumer.
Without dramatic increases in efficiency, datacentres and the ICT industry in general could use up to 20% of all electricity and be responsible for 5.5% of the world’s carbon emissions by 2025.
However, ICT is also the key enabling technology for efficient use of energy through smart solutions. The Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency aims to unlock this possibility.
The Centre works to make energy efficient datacentres and ICT technologies a key contributor to the UN Sustainable Development Goals on climate and energy by:
- Accelerating the global uptake of energy efficiency in datacentres and ICT by 2030 through research and innovation, action driven activities, and best practice sharing.
- Facilitating collaboration on energy efficiency opportunities in datacentres and ICT technologies in developing countries and emerging economies, aligned with the international climate and energy goals.
The Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency’s work and research on datacentres and ICT is geared towards the following three areas:
SOFTWARE AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY:
Intelligent processes, enabled by digital technologies and software solutions, creating constant improvement on energy efficiency and GHG emission reductions. This area explores how digital applications and connected sensors and networks allow people and software to make real-time adjustments and decisions.
HARDWARE, EQUIPMENT AND SYSTEMS:
Devices, equipment and systems related to lighting, cooling and power supply that help to optimize energy efficiency. This area aims to employ tools and processes to measure and improve the energy efficiency and sustainability of products and solutions, and to leverage current technology to inform and transform future practices.
SMART CITY SYSTEMS:
Building a smart ecosystem through the Internet of Things, devices and digital technologies to collect and analyse data in a city. This area aims to explore how smart cities could provide resources to assist governments, city planners and digital service providers to deploy connected solutions and create cities that are truly smart.
Along with partners and stakeholders, the Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency’s work on datacentres and ICT covers four main thematic topics:
ENERGY EFFICIENT DATACENTRES
Data centres currently demand about 3 % of the global electricity supply, and it is estimated that data centres could end up causing 14% of global GHG emissions by 2040.
With the economic and environmental ramifications of continued data centre growth more energy-efficient practices such as reducing cooling energy demand, reducing server power draw and utilizing waste heat are much needed.
ENERGY PERFORMANCE STANDARDS AND LABELLING
Improving the energy efficiency of ICT devices through minimum standards and labelling,
encouraging sustainability at production level and at consumer information level.
The use of smart grids is one of the most innovative ways for reducing electricity consumption and GHG emissions. Studies suggest that smart electricity grids could reduce primary consumption by the EU energy sector by almost 9% by 2020.
SMART CITIES FOR HIGHER ENERGY AND RESOURCE EFFICIENCY
The smart city leverages data and digital connectivity to enable municipal governments to
manage local resources based on real-time needs to increase efficiency.