Thursday, December 13, 2007

Asian datacenter energy use to double by 2010

Energy use by datacenters in the Asia-Pacific is set to double from 2005 to 2010 as growth in the region's consumption outpaces the rest of the world's, said a study released Thursday.

The region excluding Japan will require electricity equal to output from two new 1,000-megawatt power plants by 2010 to run datacenters, which house computer systems, and telecommunications, storage and cooling systems, it said.

The report, released by US chip giant Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), detailed what it called shifting patterns in worldwide datacenter energy use in the United States, Western Europe, Japan, the Asia-Pacific and the rest of the world.

The US share of total world server electricity use from datacenters will likely decline from 40 percent in 2000 to about one-third by 2010, while the Asia-Pacific region will increase its share from 10 percent to about 16 percent over that period, the study said.

Electricity used by datacenters in the United States and Europe makes up about two-thirds of the world's total, with Japan, Asia-Pacific and the rest of the world each at between 10 and 15 percent.

From 2000 to 2005, the study found that electricity use by datacenters in the Asia-Pacific region grew at a 23 percent annual rate, outpacing a world average of 16 percent a year.

The report coincides with world climate talks in the Indonesian resort of Bali where more than 180 countries are discussing a framework for tackling global warming past 2012, when pledges under the Kyoto Protocol expire.

Growing use of electricity by datacenters and Internet-related systems has been a subject of concern in the expanding information-technology industry amid worries over global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

"Coal provides 25 percent of global primary energy needs and generates 40 percent of the world's electricity," said AMD environmental strategist Larry Vertal in a statement.

"We must work harder than ever to not only deliver more efficient server and cooling technology, but also work with our industry and government partners in areas where we see the most dramatic increases in energy use," he said.

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