Green and Digital: study shows technical and policy options to limit surge in energy consumption for cloud and data centres

Today, the Commission publishes the results of a study for greener cloud services and data centres. Results show that energy consumption of data centres in EU Member States is expected to increase from 2.7% of the electricity demand in 2018 to 3.2% by 2030. The study provides technical and policy options to limit this increase. Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, responsible for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, said: “The European Green Deal aims to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. In this regard, we cannot let our electricity consumption go unchecked. A smarter and greener use of digital technologies are a key part in making sure Europe reaches its ambitious goal”. Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, added: “The global data volume will keep growing rapidly. That’s why we are fostering suitable infrastructures for eco-friendly efficient cloud services and energy efficient data centres. Europe will be the epicentre of green technology.” Technical solutions include more efficient cooling systems, heat reuse, the use of renewable energy to supply data centres, and the construction of these data centres in regions with a cold climate. Policy options include the use of Green Public Procurement, rules for Europe’s public authorities to use their purchasing power to choose environmentally friendly services but also setting up transparency requirements and fostering uniform indicators for energy-efficiency. The study will support ongoing efforts to meet the Digital Strategy goal of achieving climate-neutral, highly energy-efficient and sustainable data centres by 2030 and establishing a European cloud rulebook, a single set of common technical rules and norms. You will find more information here.