Monday, April 27, 2009

Saving Energy at Data Centers

Data centers perform computing functions vital to the U.S. economy, yet they require large amounts of energy to operate. To support the growing demand for processing power throughout the nation, data centers are using ever more compact and energy-intensive servers—even as the total number and size of data centers continues to increase. This is creating a serious burden on the U.S. electric grid.

DOE and its partners are working with data centers to deploy energy management best practices and conduct supporting targeted research and development. Building on the Save Energy Now energy assessment model, DOE can help companies benchmark data center energy use and identify opportunities to reduce energy by 25% or more. DOE will work with data center equipment suppliers, end users, and DOE's National Laboratories to explore joint industry R&D opportunities.

A coordinated program of focused R&D and operating practice improvements in computer data centers will produce large energy savings, reduce the load on the electric grid, and enhance data center reliability. Benefits of energy efficiency improvements in data centers include:

  • Limit growth in electricity demand and carbon emissions
  • Protect critical data and computing functions
  • Increase regional electricity reliability
  • Postpone the need to build new electricity generation capacity

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