tech

How the tide turned on data centers in Europe

6 Comments
By Joseph BOYLE

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2022 AFP

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.


6 Comments
Login to comment

You can't 'pivot to digital' without data centres. Switching to distributed systems that store more data on users' machines and move it between them without passing it through a hub, would reduce the impact a little. But governments like centralised systems as it allows them to easily monitor users, and they want local data centres so they can apply national laws to data.

They also use the 'national security' justification for local data centres, despite properly encrypted data being safe wherever it is stored. Australia, with an awful lot of sun for solar, might be a good place for data centres. Moving industry from coal to bytes.

You can't have your cake and eat it. Tech uses electricity. If you want to be able to monitor all of your citizens, all the time, you will have to move most aspects of their lives online. And that requires electricity.

The metaverse just yells flash in the pan/niche, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. Companies have moved from standalone software (on DVD, install and use) to online subscription models. That has increased electricity requirements (as well as reducing user privacy and costing users more). Mined crypto is a big problem - digital currencies do not need to be 'mined'. Losing the mining of crypto would be a good way of reducing energy use. Streaming may be quite energy intensive too.

Ultimately, everything we do - heating, eating, online activism (including popular blogs like Monroe's) - causes emissions. 'Net zero' and carbon credits are, to a greater or lesser degree, scams. Activists can target the low hanging fruit in G7 nations to feel good, but the developing world won't take a lot of notice. Reducing emissions is a luxury they cannot afford if they are to get through the week, find work, pay their bills and have enough to eat. Targeting data centres in Europe will do nothing to reduce the continued loss of rainforest in South America. The Amazon desperately needs activists to save it, but G7 activists themselves are happier to target Amazon Inc.

Those activists will also hit a wall. There is a point at which they will be demanding impacts upon the lives of the majority, that the majority will push back against. And in democracies, numbers count. The more they push, the less traction they will get.

Thankfully, we are seeing an increasing trickle of new, innovative solutions to some of our waste and emission issues. For example, organic, plastic-alike materials. State funding to move these into the global mainstream, without patent blocks or fees, would be helpful. Charge for new solutions, and they will not be adopted beyond the first world.

Politicians may hate anything long term, and not wish to spend money that only future regimes will win electoral benefits from, but we are going to have to prepare to live with climate change. More reservoirs, desalination plants, more green power, and better global supply chains for food to protect against local harvest failures.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Turn data centers into generating plants from all the heat they create.

https://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2016/05/10/how-to-reuse-waste-heat-from-data-centers-intelligently

Use renewable energies.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Who are these activists? Can they keep a look out on ebay for half a brain? Data centres are the key to efficiency, without them it would take many times more energy to complete the same task.

Imagine a room full of people looking through records with lights and A/C gulping electricity.

I can't believe they are targeting data centres but not crypto miners who consumes much, much more energy AND achieves nothing for society.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

DATA centers and the server system which houses them use vast amounts of electricity than any previous analog methods ever did. I was previously an office building engineer and experienced the changes over 30 years.

DATA centers are now a vital part of modern living. They can use renewable energy as many in the US do. The excess heat can be used in local homes and businesses to supply hot water.

https://www.greenbiz.com/article/data-center-warms-homes-waste-heat

https://www.siliconrepublic.com/enterprise/stockholm-heat-data-centres

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Data centers in space, using the cold of vacuum in space to cool them at no additional cost.

Not feasible right now but if companies build facilities in orbit for hotels, as way points for travel further out to the moon and beyond and factories in orbit to process materials mined from asteroids then data centers can be run from solar or mini nuclear reactors in space and need no cooling other than vacuum.

Perhaps in a decade or two.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Data centers in space, using the cold of vacuum in space to cool them at no additional cost.

A vacuum, by definition, cannot transfer heat

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites