The Stack Archive

Data centres are eating our energy and Russia could turn off the gas taps with severe consequences for operators

Thu 3 Apr 2014

This is a big data centre issue as seen from the CFO’s perspective.  Data centres are requiring more and more energy, yet electricity supply prices are rising and those very supplies are being overwhelmed and so the threat of blackouts looms. Factor in that the current tensions with Russia over the Crimea and Ukraine could escalate to the point where the vital pipelines are turned off and the consequences are massive. Isaac Kato, the CFO of data centre operator, Verne Global, looks at some options.

“…any failure in the delivery of energy supplies to the data servers can force these vital applications offline, with severe consequences for everyday business operations. Ofgem, Britain’s energy regulator, recently forecast that the spare margin – the amount of energy available for consumption at times of peak demand – will fall to as low as 2 percent in 2015, increasing the risk of blackouts, and this problem isn’t unique to the UK.

Europe is trapped between a rock and a hard place as it attempts to simultaneously secure adequate power supply, increase the renewables mix, and avoid shocks to the system such as nuclear plant shutdowns and threats to gas supplies from Russia.”


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