Data centre and power news: June 2023
Data centres and power plants are undeniably important in our world, but they face considerable eco-friendly hurdles. As noise specialists in these sectors, we at Wiltech Acoustics are familiar with these challenges and always keep our eyes peeled for the latest news and trends. So, here are five interesting stories from June that we think you should know about.
The power of AI in data centres
Earlier this month, an article in AI News highlighted how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies revolutionise the data centre landscape. Among their many applications, they’re helping to simplify operations, find ways to save energy and spot any problems faster than ever. AI and ML are also great at keeping track of important hardware, preventing outages, planning for future needs, and improving how data centres work with their customers. They even help beef up security and streamline daily tasks. The quick adoption of these technologies reflects the growing need to handle more data and hit sustainability targets.
Solar power keeping Texans cool
At the end of June, The Guardian reported how solar power is coming to the rescue of Texans faced with an unprecedented heatwave. The blistering heat caused electricity demand to hit record levels, and the state’s ageing coal and gas-fired power plants buckled under the pressure. But thanks to Texas’s solar power supply, which has doubled since early 2022, blackouts were avoided. The renewable sources were especially crucial during the afternoon, contributing up to 15% of the state’s power. This success story comes despite some lawmakers’ claims that renewable energy sources aren’t reliable. Solar power isn’t the lone hero, though; the state’s wind power and battery storage capacity also stepped up. The efforts of these renewables are crucial as extreme heat events are likely to increase with the advancing climate crisis. Despite some political resistance, it’s clear that these clean energy sources are invaluable in keeping Texas powered up.
Ireland’s energy use dominated by data centres
According to the BBC, data centres in Ireland accounted for nearly one-fifth of the country’s total electricity in 2022. That’s as much as all the urban households combined. Tech heavyweights like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft contribute to this usage with their substantial data hubs across Ireland. From 2021 to 2022, the energy use of these centres jumped up by 31%, and even more strikingly, it surged 400% since 2015. To manage this growth, Ireland’s energy watchdog has rolled out new guidelines for plugging data centres into the power grid. If it seems like a lot of power, it is! This story highlights the extent to which these digital warehouses are the workhorses of our online world.
Unlocking the energy transition’s full potential
Reuters report that the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is urging for broader and more diversified investments in the energy transition, according to its 2023 outlook. With 95% of the $500 billion invested in renewables in 2022 funneled into wind and solar power, IRENA calls for greater attention to other technologies like biofuels, hydropower, and geothermal energy. The agency also seeks more investment in energy sectors beyond power, including heating and transport.
The UK’s sunlit eco-boost
Finally, the BBC reports that the UK government has greenlit one of the nation’s largest solar farms, Longfield Solar Farm. The Essex-based project, a joint venture between EDF Renewables and Padero Solar, would have a generating capacity of up to 500MW and could power about 60,000 households. The farm, which also includes battery storage, is expected to significantly contribute to the country’s transition towards low-carbon energy generation.
Wiltech Acoustics engineer, manufacture and install high-quality noise control solutions for Industrial and Power applications. Contact us to find out more about how we can help your business.