Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 65 | Page 68


Grid instability continues to jeopardise energy security for European data centres

A new research report has mapped out temporary opportunities for facility stakeholders in major European data centre markets to maintain site resilience in a challenging climate .

Titled Uptime on the Line , the new two-part whitepaper from Aggreko interviewed 700 data centre professionals consulting for large businesses in the UK , Ireland , Germany , France , the Netherlands , Norway and Sweden . It sought insight on topics including the state of current grid infrastructure , power outages , local energy prices and supply chain delays , and how these are affecting facility construction and operations .
The report ’ s findings also map out how the sector ’ s soaring energy consumption rate is affecting its ability to put in place long-term strategies alongside short-term solutions to counteract further uncertainty and incoming stricter regulations . According to Billy Durie , Global Sector Head – Data Centres at Aggreko , the respondents ’ views demonstrate how there are tactical opportunities to help manage energy and temperature control in today ’ s facilities . certainties such as being able to keep server halls online more than 99 % of the time are now in jeopardy , meaning operators will need to explore new approaches to mitigate risks .”
With these concerns in mind , the report identifies tactical short-term solutions and more strategic , long-term options to address common obstacles for data centre professionals . This includes insufficient grid power , outages from ageing equipment , adopting demand side response schemes and fluctuating heat and power requirements .
“ Today ’ s pressures are so significant that businesses could begin to lose sight of the longer-term view , especially in a sector dominated by short-term deadlines ,” Durie said . “ However , equipment is available today that can help lower dependency on the grid while addressing other key issues such as decarbonisation . Yet integrating decentralised energy plans poses unique issues that require expert supplier assistance to simplify and navigate .
“ On-site generation , implemented with hired equipment strategies explored in this latest report , can therefore present huge opportunities for data centres , which are synonymous with high energy consumption rates . Identifying the correct equipment approach will be key to weathering growing macro issues around energy and temperature control provision , so it is crucial data centre stakeholders work closely with equipment experts to do so .” p
“ Data centre demand is constantly increasing , yet utility provision needed to service this new development pipeline is currently under strain ,” said Durie . “ Keeping new and existing facilities online during this continued expansion are therefore priorities of global importance , so it is vital conversations occur on the best way to deliver power and temperature control to sites .
“ Resilience is being tested by events outside the sector ’ s control , including volatile energy pricing , extreme weather conditions , high consumption rates and a degraded supply chain . As this report demonstrates , old
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