NEW ERA FOR UK DATA CENTRE INDUSTRY
Today, July 1, 2014, marks the launch of the first data centre Climate Change Agreement (CCA), a significant milestone for the industry. The data centre CCA, which has been in planning for four years, is formal recognition by the UK government that the sector is mature and significant to the economy and requires its own legislation and legal framework to sustain industry growth.
What is a CCA?
CCAs, first introduced in 2001, are negotiated agreements between government and energy intensive sectors designed to minimise energy consumption through the implementation of energy efficient measures to meet UK’s carbon reduction targets. CCA participants are incentivised to meet challenging energy efficiency targets via a reduction of, or exclusion from, specific carbon taxes (CCL and CRC). Prior to today, approximately 50 CCAs were already in operation in the UK covering various sectors.
|Andrew Jay, Executive Director, Data Centre Solutions|
What does it mean for the data centre industry?
In essence, participation in a CCA will require each data centre to work towards legally binding energy efficiency targets over the period of the agreement and thus contribute to the overall objective of the CCA, which is to improve the energy performance of the data centre sector as a whole. Ultimately, this should see carbon tax liabilities associated with electricity reduced for the industry.
The first agreement is immediately effective and will run until 2020 with a sector target of 15% energy reduction in power usage effectiveness (PUE). In addition, colocation data centre operators are required to reduce non-IT energy consumption by 30% between 2011 and 2020 via the implementation of energy efficient measures.
What are the benefits of a date centre CCA?
As this new legislation is sector specific, focused on colocation data centres, there are a number of benefits. The new legal framework, energy stewardship and governance will improve industry and investor confidence which should increase industry employment and ultimately growth. This has a knock-on-effect of improved EU and even global competitiveness. From an environmental standpoint, the new targets will ensure a sector is more energy efficient going forward.
What does this mean for the future of the industry?
Today is a hugely significant milestone for the data centre sector. The data centre specific CCA recognises that this sector underpins the UK economy but to date has been left unchecked and largely misunderstood by policy makers. The formal legislation also signals an awareness that the industry will continue to evolve and become more competitive as data centre operators will be incentivised to take vital steps to improve the energy performance of their assets. This is a very positive step for all associated parties now and in the future.
To register for a data centre CCA or for further information please visit: