The data center is the backbone of our daily activities. Countries with the largest digital penetration will need additional data centers. Like Indonesia, for example, with 205 million internet users (data for 2021), you will need data center capacity.
The country with the largest digital penetration
By 2020 there will be six billion people using the internet, which is about 60% of the projected world population. This number is broken down into:
- Two billion active smartphones
- Two billion active laptops and desktops
- One billion active tablets
The country with the largest digital penetration is China. Here is a list of the country with the largest digital penetration in 2022:
- China has more than 1 billion internet users. It increased from 2017 with 688 million users.
- India, with 658 million internet users, is the third biggest polluted country in the world.
- The USA has 307 million internet users and is the second biggest world carbon emissions producer.
- Indonesia has 205 million internet users.
Apart from Indonesia, we can see that the correlation of digital penetration is closely related to the level of carbon emissions in a country. As we know, as the backbone of people’s daily activities, data centers are electricity-sucking giants.
Increasing carbon emissions and climate change
The world’s largest data centers are already struggling to keep up with the demand for their services. They’re pouring billions of dollars into building and expanding their server farms, including the ever-popular cloud computing operations that let us store documents to stream movies online. All these operations require massive amounts of energy to operate, which means that today’s data centers will have an enormous carbon footprint in 10 or 20 years unless something is done about it.
Data centers are currently responsible for 2% of all global carbon emissions. And as more and more people get access to the internet and need to buy more cloud storage every year, those numbers will skyrocket unless the data centers find ways to use less electricity.
One crucial area of focus for these companies is the location where they set up shop. For example, an operation in Jakarta (Indonesia) can run more efficiently than one in New York City—the former uses less power on average (due to Hong Kong’s status as a hub for manufacturing) and has better access to solar power than many other major cities. But even if they pick a location already well suited to running a green data center, many companies will be looking into ways to be more efficient with their energy usage.
Currently, the United States is the world’s second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide (China is number one). To reduce our carbon footprint and slow down climate change, we need to focus on reducing the energy we use. As mentioned earlier, data centers have a significant carbon footprint because they need servers and other equipment to be cooled to function properly.
We need more green data centers.
Carbon emissions are at record highs for the third year in the United States, which is now the second largest emitter of carbon in the world behind China. With the increase in digital data and digital devices, there is a need to find ways to decrease emissions. The largest digital penetration in the world has illuminated a new demand for green data centers.
The definition of green data centers has evolved to mean different things to different people. Some describe a green data center as one that meets the Uptime Institute’s Tier 4 requirements, which are rigorous specifications for power, cooling, physical security, and other things. Others may use Green IT principles to describe a data center that is “clean” from an environmental point of view. Still, others will state that they run their data center in an environmentally friendly manner.
Green data centers can help reduce emissions and combat climate change. Data centers have become one of the fastest-growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. A “green” data center uses renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind power, rather than traditional fossil fuels, such as coal or natural gas.
There is also a greater focus on green design features like incorporating natural daylighting into the structure and using low-emitting materials for construction, like aluminum instead of steel. Green technology for servers reduces the energy needed to power them by up to 90%, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80%.
How green data centers reduce the data center carbon footprint
Green data centers take advantage of the latest innovations in sustainable technologies while minimizing the environmental impact of their power consumption. These innovative designs are rapidly becoming the standard, and they are succeeding with an average 40% reduction in carbon footprint compared to traditional data centers.
In reality, there are only a few ways to achieve a significant reduction in the overall carbon footprint of a data center, namely:
- choosing an appropriate location,
- using renewable energy sources, and
- using efficient equipment (technique, hardware, and software).
A green data center should always prioritize the first two of these options over the third one, which is only effective in reducing overall power consumption rather than actual emissions.
A good location may seem like an obvious choice to reduce carbon emissions. However, it is essential to remember that where you build your data center has a lot to do with how you operate it once it is up and running.
Demand for the digital world is rapidly increasing, and the data center industry is growing to meet that demand. Data center providers need to continue their investment in infrastructure to meet the ever-increasing demand for the cloud.
Green data centers can be a great way to increase digitization without contributing to climate change. Even though green data centers might be a new concept, they have already made huge strides toward minimizing their carbon footprint.
Green data centers have found ways to power their server farms without using any fossil fuels, releasing no carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. They also use much less energy per square foot than traditional data centers because they aren’t using as many machines simultaneously.
Finally, green data centers take advantage of renewable energy sources like wind or solar power whenever possible, so they aren’t using non-renewable energy sources like coal or diesel fuel.