At the recent Data Centres Europe 2012 conference, Aaron Davis, CMO of Schneider Electric gave a keynote address about energy and the issues faced by the data center industry as data and services proliferate around the globe.
So does Aaron Davis think costs will be a more powerful motivator than legislation regarding where new data centers will be built?
“In the long term it will be down to the cost of energy – for sure. But if you take an example where those running a country make the decision that data centers are a strategic investment for that country: you have a choice within your legal framework to protect data. And we need to remember that not all data is human-to-human data, some of it is machine-to-machine – computers talking to one another to make the country run. So how do you protect data in a scenario where you also have a high infrastructure energy cost?”
“So there could be different subsidies or tax incentives. But as we’ve seen, in the face of fiscal pressure, these go away very quickly. There will be a long term view of, yes, data and energy are equal and you want to situate your data centers where energy is cheap, with the reality that some data needs to stay within countries, and some countries may have different energy cost structures. This will put pressure on governments in the short and medium term, to identify and deal with energy cost in a local way.”
“This will be good for the planet because you will have renewables, you will have micro grids. Smart Grid will have greater adoption driven by real commercial needs, which history has shown are the best drivers of change at a company, and even at a county level. There has to be a profit motive for companies to be more efficient; there has to be a profit motive for countries to invest in a Smart Grid. I think that you’ll start seeing that come from the incredible density and energy intensity that data centers bring.”