ICT Getting Green

Conference: telescon(R) 2009 - Power Supply Quality and Efficiency - 4th International Telecommunication - Energy special conference
05/10/2009 - 05/13/2009 at Vienna, Austria

Proceedings: telescon(R) 2009 - Power Supply Quality and Efficiency

Pages: 6Language: englishTyp: PDF

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Maihaniemi, Reijo (Efore Plc, Espoo, Finland)

It is politically correct and acceptable behaviour to resist Global Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Governments in Europe have set measurable targets to ecological footprints and usage of renewable energy sources. Despite of these general concerns, only few serious measures have taken place to implement these wishes in ICT sites. As a matter of fact, only few economically realistic and concrete actions have been suggested to reduce the growth of electricity consumption. Some telecom operators have set energy saving as one evaluation parameter for their new wireline and wireless infrastructure equipment. Data center owners have not paid attention to the energy consumption as much as telecom operators. ICT industry has not been among the most power consuming industries in the past, but considered as “less than 1%” sector. ICT industry is quite difficult and fragmented sector to understand even to professionals from power consumption point of view. Firstly, one should understand the underlying reasoning why electricity consumption in ICT is growing nowadays over 15% year-to-year and secondly, the rapid emerge of telecom and datacom technologies to one single ICT network is blury. Thirdly, telecom and datacom engineers have traditionally understood power supply in a different manner. Power has not drawn site owners’ primary attention since the cost of electricity has not been too high and the system reliability requirements have not been as outstanding as they are today. Powering back up and redundancy solutions as well as site powering building blocks have stayed quite the same for tens of years. Power architecture changes or introducing new technologies have not been economically meaningful. However, today’s competition in ICT is fearce and the continuous increase of electricity costs has alerted ICT operators, data center owners and political decision makers. ICT power consumption in developed countries has been doubled in few years. It has moved from “less than 1%” issue to “more than 2%” issue from all national electricity consumption and will be doubled again within next 5 years. At the same time the price of electricity has been increasing by double digits annually, impacting very negatively to direct costs of ICT companies. This issue is today both visible and serious. There are, however, concrete means to cut the growth of electricity costs considerably, not only by using latest power technologies but introducing intelligence in power feeding modules and adopting new powering and network architectures. Further on, alternative energy sources can be applied for decentralized power feed, which at the same time can also improve the overall reliability of ICT networks.