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EU energy targets could cause for concern for data center

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Research from Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson has found that 43% of European IT professionals are unaware of the EU 20-20-20 Renewable Energy Directive.

The directive, set by the European Commission, aims to see 20% of energy generated by renewable sources by 2020 across the European Union.

It also aims to improve the legal framework around the use of energy generated from renewable sources, and as such, is requiring member states to come up with national action plans.

Emerson said to support the targets the European Commission released a voluntary Code of Conduct on Data Centres Energy Efficiency, the European Commission has focused on the data center sector because it expects electricity consumed in data centers to contribute substantially to the electricity consumed in the European Union commercial sector in the near future.

Emerson’s survey found that only 21% of IT Professionals have already taken actions to address the requirements of the directive.

Of those who are familiar with the requirements, 63% register concern at the effect the directive will have on their data center operations.

Other targets set by the directive include a reduction of at least 20% of greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels, and a 20% reduction in primary energy used compared with projected levels.

Emerson’s survey looked at 341 IT professionals across Europe and examined current levels of awareness about the EU 20-20-20 directive and the actions that have been taken to make organisations more energy efficient.

Its survey also revealed that knowledge of the targets had influenced nearly three in five IT Professionals (57%) to procure more energy efficient IT equipment.

Almost three quarters (72%) indicate that energy efficiency is one of, or the most important consideration when purchasing data center equipment.

Interestingly the challenge posed by these targets has not prompted many to consider moving their data centers to countries with fewer restrictions – just 3% have implemented such a strategy.

Emerson said nearly all departments of organisations are expected to be impacted by the targets but survey respondents identified IT / Technical Operations and Engineering / Product Development departments as the most likely to be influenced. Over a quarter of the businesses surveyed had company-wide green initiatives in place.

“This survey has shown us that the EU 20-20-20 directive is going to have a lasting impact on data centres, and despite the deadline still being eight years away, IT professionals have to act now,” Emiliano Cevenini, VP of power sales for Emerson Network Power in EMEA said.

The survey also discussed renewable energy – a method of energy supply that will be increasingly used as data centres look to reduce their emissions. Half of its respondents said that solar power is their preferred renewable energy source to power their primary data center, but also said that cost was the number one reason for not adopting renewable energy sources.

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  • Data center operatores in Europe have said solar energy is their preferred type of renewable energy

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