Colt DCS ramps up renewable power use across European datacentre estate

Colt Data Centre Services (DCS) has confirmed that nine out of 17 of its European carrier neutral colocation facilities now run exclusively on renewable power, as the firm pushes ahead with its efforts to improve the environmental friendliness of its datacentre portfolio.

The company says the initiative is focused on cutting down the carbon emissions generated by its datacentre activities, as well as improving the overall energy efficiency of its operations.

To this end, Colt said it is committed to using renewable energy sources to power its datacentres “wherever possible”, but concedes there are some territories where it is prevented from doing so at the moment.

“In France, the country’s reliance on nuclear power and an energy generation shortfall makes it impossible for any datacentre provider to guarantee 100% renewable power, although it is hoped that planned developments for renewable energy will meet the shortfall by 2023,” the company said in a statement.

The datacentre industry’s energy consumption habits, including its use of renewable power, remains under tight scrutiny at the moment, as concerns about how sustainable its growth is from an environmental perspective continue to mount.

In response, a number of the hyperscale cloud giants – including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google and Microsoft, have all pledged to ramp up their use of renewable energy to ensure the growth of their operations does not come at the expense of the environment.

Meanwhile, cross-party think tank, Policy Connect, published a research paper on 20 February, for example, looking into the environmental impact of the UK’s increasingly digital economy, from both an energy cost and carbon emissions perspective.

In particular, it calls on policymakers to start taking stock of how much energy is used to power internet-connected devices, data transmission networks and the datacentres.

“To date, the energy cost and carbon impact of the digital economy has not increased to the epic proportions once predicted. High energy bills, new efficient ICT technologies and regulations have kept the proportion of electricity used by ICT products and services in check,” the report states.

“However, there is a risk that with a growing dependence on connected devices and digital technologies, energy efficiency gains may slow or even stall.”

For this reason, Colt DCS CEO Detlef Spang, said it is time for the technology industry to “face up to its global responsibilities” on energy consumption and use of renewables.

“Colt DCS believes our industry has a moral and ethical duty to go far beyond the minimum requirements for sustainability, and to deploy techniques and new infrastructure technology that will have a major and measurable effect on the resources we use,” he said.

“This will require major investment, but by adopting the latest technologies and best practices, we will deliver lower lifetime costs for our customers while also ensuring we leave the smallest possible ecological footprint in the territories where we operate around the world.”

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Joan Guzman