Growth in data center energy consumption from major companies — including Facebook and Google — has actually slowed, thanks to commitments to energy efficiency initiatives by several organizations.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, data centers in the US consumed around 70 billion kWhs in 2014, accounting for nearly 2% of the country’s total energy consumption. And the International Data Corporation estimates the amount of information stored in data centers will increase 40% each year over the next decade.
However, a recent survey by Secure I.T. Environments Ltd. found that close to 47% of companies surveyed were confident that their data center energy efficiency had improved. And in April, tech giants Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft announced their plans to continue their clean energy initiatives despite President Trump’s executive action regarding the Clean Power Plan.
Further, a new bill introduced by US representative Anna Eschoo (D-CA) and passed in the US House of Representatives in January proposes a set of data center energy efficiency standards that could save as much as $5 billion in energy costs by 2020.
Equinix, a data center in California that stores large amounts of data for companies such as Google and Facebook, incorporated a simple energy-saving solution within its data centers: switching incandescent lightbulbs to LEDs and installing motion sensors that control when lights are being used.
According to Seeker.com, Equinix sustainability director David Rinard said that sustainability has been a growing trend with data centers over the past three or four years. Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Adobe, Equinix, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Salesforce and SAP are companies that run or use data centers extensively, and all have pledged to eventually power their centers with 100% renewable energy.