Data Centers and Alternative Energy Sources
Data centers in the United States consumed 70 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2014 — an estimated 2 percent of the country’s total energy consumption. While the energy consumption growth of data centers has slowed in recent years thanks to efficiency improvements — 4 percent since 2010 compared to 90 percent between 2000 and 2005 — the industry is still a major energy consumer. To combat these high levels of energy use, companies such as Google and Microsoft are making the jump to transfer their operations to run with more renewable energy.
Here are three innovative types of renewable energy sources to consider for your data center — and even if they’re out of reach for now, hopefully they can provide some inspiration for the future.