The European Commission published a study addresses the issue of growing energy consumption due to the expansion of cloud services in Europe.
The topic of energy-efficient cloud computing has become a priority on the EU political agenda and the European Digital Strategy sets the goal of achieving climate-neutral, highly energy-efficient and sustainable data centres by no later than 2030.
The study’s main findings are:
- In 2018 the energy consumption of data centres in the EU was 76.8 TWh. This is expected to rise to 98,52 TWh by 2030, a 28% increase.
- There is a growing trend towards edge computing because of increasing digitalisation and the associated need to capture, transfer and process more and more data. In 2018, edge data centres accounted for 2% of the energy used by data centres. This share is expected to rise to 12% by 2025.
Тhe study finds that, due to the nature of cloud computing and the diversity of cloud service providers, there is no single solution to reach the 2030 target. Nevertheless, existing instruments can – to varying degrees – be used as a starting point or at least as an inspiration for further developments or new designs of policy instruments. Examples include the EU Code of Conduct on Data Centre Energy efficiency, and the forthcoming reviews of the Ecodesign Regulation on servers and data storage products and the Energy Efficiency Directive.
Thanks to the findings of the study, the Commission has a better understanding of the current situation in the EU, enabling it to better target further action to foster energy efficient data centres and cloud services. The recommendations on future policy actions will be used to identify next steps to green data centres and cloud computing.
The Final study report is available in application: