Renewable Energy Alone Can’t Address Data Centers’ Adverse Environmental Impact
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the world saw a 6% decline in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions as people stopped traveling, commuting to work, and driving in general. However, emissions are already returning to pre-pandemic levels as countries begin to re-open and end lockdown measures. Climate change will still likely have devastating ramifications, leading organizations to push to achieve a sustained reduction in CO2 levels.
However, experts have asserted that even a huge switch to renewable energy will not be able to counter the output produced by massive data centers that are popping up across the US. Despite the focus on the automotive, manufacturing, and agricultural industries, data centers powering the digitized economy should be granted more attention as one of the largest barriers to renewable energy implementation. According to the International Energy Agency, data centers consume roughly 1% of all global electricity demand, contributing to 0.3% of all global CO2 emissions. These figures are expected to rise dramatically over the next several years as more data centers are needed. However, there are a few available solutions, with the most promising being AI-powered software that assists companies in maximizing the utilization of their CPUs, ultimately helping to deliver considerable energy savings.