Data centres are the backbone of the digital world, but they come with a heavy environmental cost. As the demand for data storage and processing grows, data centre energy consumption is becoming an increasingly important concern. With the sector consuming around 3% of the global energy supply, businesses are seeking innovative ways to improve data centre energy efficiency and reduce their environmental impact. In this article, we’ll highlight one case study featuring a collaboration between AirTrunk, CLP Power, and Microsoft, which showcases an innovative approach to managing data centre energy consumption.
Matching data centre energy consumption with renewable energy certificates
In an effort to make data centre operations more environmentally friendly, AirTrunk and CLP Power have teamed up to match Microsoft’s data centre electricity consumption in Hong Kong with local renewable energy certificates (RECs). RECs are tradable certificates that represent the environmental benefits of generating electricity from renewable energy sources, like solar or wind power. In this first-of-its-kind project in the Asia-Pacific region, Microsoft’s data centre electricity consumption is matched with RECs on an hourly basis, directly linked to a renewable energy project called the West New Territories (WENT) Landfill Gas Power Generation Units, or WE Station.
Converting waste to energy at WE station
WE Station is an innovative project that captures landfill gas – a byproduct of decomposing waste – and converts it into energy for power generation. By matching Microsoft’s electricity consumption with the renewable energy generated at WE Station, AirTrunk and CLP Power are helping to offset the environmental impact of the data centre and set new industry standards for climate action.
Microsoft’s ambitious sustainability targets
This collaboration with AirTrunk and CLP Power supports Microsoft’s goal of using 100% renewable energy by 2025 and having 100% of its electricity matched by zero-carbon resources at all times by 2030. By leveraging innovative commercial structures, Microsoft aims to make significant progress towards its 100/100/0 commitment.
The role of hourly renewable energy certificates
Hourly RECs play a crucial role in managing the environmental impact of data centres, while also helping businesses achieve their decarbonisation targets. Each unit of electricity in a CLP Hourly Renewable Energy Certificate enables customers can match their electricity consumption with the renewable energy generated on an hour-by-hour basis, moving towards zero carbon operations.
Collaboration for a greener future
AirTrunk is working closely with its customers to offer renewable energy options that help them meet their ambitious sustainability targets. By collaborating with technology giants like Microsoft, AirTrunk is helping to drive innovation and set new industry benchmarks for data centre energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.
The path towards sustainable data centres
As data centre energy consumption continues to rise, businesses in the sector are taking significant steps to improve their environmental footprint. Initiatives like the one led by AirTrunk, CLP Power, and Microsoft showcase the potential of collaboration and innovation in driving data centre energy efficiency. By embracing renewable energy options and adopting sustainable practices, data centres can become more environmentally friendly and contribute to a greener future.