The internet actually relies on millions of physical servers in data centers around the world, which are connected with miles of undersea cables, switches, and routers, all of which require Gigawatts of energy to run. That is not the problem. The problem is – much of this energy emanates from power sources that emit carbon dioxide into the air as they burn fossil fuels. In the past, studies have indicated that internet activity results in as much CO2 emissions as the global aviation industry! The world releases around 51 billion tons of green-house gases every year. This has to come down to zero in 30 years.
In the post Covid-19 era, the explosion of IoT and Cloud services are driving the growth of the data center market have given this problem a whole new dimension. According to the US Department of Energy, data centers consume 10 to 50 times the energy per floor space of a typical commercial office building. In Singapore, Data centres contribute about 7 per cent of the island’s total electricity consumption.
This raises the question: in what ways can they save energy better (considering every country has signed the Paris Climate Agreement with stated goals)? “You can’t manage what you can’t measure. The first step to save energy better is to gain insights to how much you consume and where are the energy gobblers,” says O’Niel Dissanayake, APAC CEO, Socomec Group.
Therefore, it is critical to link the design with operation phase energy performance to ensure energy efficiency and sustainability are well considered during the design phase. For example, there is none other better way than to implement a comprehensive power
monitoring system that works 24/7 and tracks the consumption behaviour down to individual circuits.
“Once the monitoring system is in place, the next logical step for the user is to systematically implement actions to reduce waste. This is achieved by changing consumers’ behaviour or switching to more energy efficient means to achieve the desired outcome,” points out O’Niel.
Monitoring Power Consumption
Monitoring and understanding power consumption patterns with the help of AI, Machine Learning etc helps in a big way.
Our state-of-the-art multifunction Power Monitoring meters provide a high degree of accuracy particularly in electrical energy consumption. In addition, our software packages deliver the optimized visualization of data captured by the meters and this has enabled users to take critical decisions pertaining to their electrical installation designs and adjusting energy consumption habits, thereby achieving their emission targets, explains O’Niel.
Industry watchers are of the view that Socomec’s array of Power Monitoring solution is definitely one critical means to help the end-users visualize the energy consumption of loads and pin-point pockets of opportunities to reduce GHG emissions.
The shift to greener energy or Energy transition is underway in many countries all around the world. Energy Storage Solution (ESS) is one important element in the energy transition. In the Power Conversion business, our Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) incorporates eco-design philosophy and has adopted the most advanced approach to minimize energy wastage. We are among the best-in-class in terms of energy efficiency. More recently, our selected range of UPS is also recognized by SGBC as energy efficient and is certified under the Singapore Green Building Product Certificate scheme, avers O’Niel.
Socomec’s ESS solution deployed in Central Europe helps to manage the impact of intermittence of renewable energy production or meeting the challenge of demand-response energy balance.
Managing Solutions’ Lifecycle
One important responsibility for innovative manufacturers such as Socomec is that it ensures the installation, integration, commissioning and proper maintenance of its solutions throughout their life cycle. “Through managing the Total Cost of Ownership and the end-of-life of the power assets, we help users improve system availability, operating efficiency and extend the installation’s lifetime. Ultimately, this will help users reduce their carbon footprint,” points out O’Niel.
Socomec has also taken many other initiatives in order to transform Socomec in this net-zero journey. “We have taken steps to strengthen our position in the energy transition and make more efficient use of resources. We are making relentless efforts to certify our factories to ISO14001, manage hazardous industrial waste carefully, transit to renewable energy whenever possible, implemented Eco-design policy for our products, etc.,” states O’Niel.
In the past, there were calculations that said: Every online search comes at a cost to the planet. In processing 3.5 billion searches a day, popular search engines account for about 40% of the internet’s carbon footprint. The good news is Google has expressed the intention to wipe out its entire carbon footprint by investing in “high-quality carbon offsets”. Also, it has pledged to use only carbon-free energy by 2030.
Climate Change is one of the greatest challenges facing the human race. The recent IPCC report – deemed the most influential international report on climate change – declared code red for the world and said this would be the “most decisive decade in human history”. What we do now will define whether we have a future as a race.