Green Industry

Towards a green data centre industry

Micro Data Centers - Energy.jpg

Running at a very high efficiency or a low power usage effectiveness (PUE) is generally the definition of what makes a data centre “green”.

“The role of data centres is to drive business competitiveness,” says Maria de Lurdes Carvalho, vice-president for Data Centre Solutions, EMEA region, Schneider Electric. “The megatrends experienced in both urbanisation, digitisation and industrialisation are today significantly driving energy consumption and growth. The solution to this problem is a cleaner power generation, greater efficiency and a smarter grid. And the energy efficiency potential at our disposal - across sectors such as industry, transport, power generation and buildings potential - is massive!”

According to the 2012 World Energy Outlook, two-thirds of the economic potential to improve energy efficiency remains untapped in the period to 2035.
As one of the largest consumers of both energy and water, data centres are also targeted facilities to run on renewable energy, such as wind and solar.

With digital traffic expanding annually by 23 percent, driven in part by the Internet of Things (IoT), De Lurdes points out that micro data centres are an ideal solution as they offer a sustainable solution with the benefits of reduced latency, increased physical security. Plus, they enable you to deploy IT equipment close to data intensive applications.

“With a rising demand for data centres in smaller cities, we are most certainly witnessing a decentralisation of the data centre. Previously, data centres were located in major metropolitan areas, but today, the rise of edge computing is fuelling the demand for micro data centres to be set up in small towns, I believe you call them ‘dorpies’ in South Africa?” says De Lurdes. “The obvious benefit for customers is greater speed processing.”

De Lurdes adds that edge applications are on a steep upward trajectory, especially when considering their commercial potential. “This means that customers will continuously be seeking data centres that are both agile and scalable, components that a micro data centre offers,” she continues.

“The bottom line is that a data centre must become more energy efficient and easer to manage – and the market, from corporate to cloud data centres is moving fast – and so, technology and sustainable solutions must too.”

When looking at major future the possibilities in the green data centre space, De Lurdes, relates an answer recently given by Steve Carlini Sr, director of data centre solutions marketing at Schneider Electric, in response to Computer Business Review, “Steve summed it up by saying ‘I do not know if it is quite emerging yet, but there are a couple of floating or submersible data centres in testing. By floating I mean a system that includes a floating platform-mounted computer data centre comprising a plurality of computing units, a sea-based electrical generator in electrical connection with the plurality of computing units, and one or more sea-water cooling units for providing cooling to the plurality of computing units. As for a submersible solution, this is an underwater location that could provide the vast amounts of energy needed to run a data centre through use of a tidal or turbine energy system, in addition to removing the security risks that come with an easily accessible land location.”

Exciting stuff. Watch this space!

About Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric is the global specialist in energy management and automation. With revenues of ~€27 billion in FY2015, our 160,000+ employees serve customers in over 100 countries, helping them to manage their energy and process in ways that are safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable. From the simplest of switches to complex operational systems, our technology, software and services improve the way our customers manage and automate their operations. Our connected technologies reshape industries, transform cities and enrich lives. At Schneider Electric, we call this Life Is On.


Schneider Electric, Isabel Mwale, +27 (0) 11 254 6400,

PR Connections, Debbie Sielemann, +27 (0) 82 414 4633,

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Issue 39