There is one thing the industry knows for sure. Data center energy usage has been on the way up — for years — and there are certainly no signs of this trend stopping. The priorities have become: No. 1, delivering lower emissions; and No. 2, furthering the options of longer run times and fast-start natural gas generators.
With the surge in data-center electricity demand has come the push for more renewable energy sources.
“As intermittent renewable electricity generation increases, fast-start resources can balance and accommodate the instability of the electric grid, ” says the new report.
Natural gas generators can give data center operators the opportunity to monetize assets while providing benefits to the electric grid, according to INNIO.
The potential of natural gas generators are vast, including fast-start capability with full load, along with benefits that often come with the ability to run on a variety of operating modes, according to the recent report.
What drives data generation? E-commerce, payment processing, the internet, search engines, social networking, software, platform and infrastructure as a service, to name a few new avenues, is pushing growth (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS).
And despite efficiency gains over the years, data center electricity demand continues to grow.
“Individual data centers or campuses can require hundreds of megawatts to meet their power supply needs,” INNIO points out.
Along with the surge in data center electricity demand has come a push for more renewable energy. — INNIO
The combination of “data center electricity demand growth, the push for renewable-based electricity by data center operators, and renewable generation intermittency/instability,” has created what the report calls an”interesting situation.”
The report presents natural gas generators as an option to provide reliability, reduced emissions, and an opportunity to monetize stranded assets. Natural gas generators can work to lower a data center’s emissions considerably, which can serve to provide longer run times, among other benefits.
The new report explores the following topics in full, and more:
- Data Drives Data Center Growth
- Data Center Growth and Electricity
- Data Centers as Critical Infrastructure
- Natural Gas Generator Benefits for Data Center Operators