An obligation to use waste heat is to be imposed on data centers. However, as long as there is a lack of customers and the necessary heat networks, the requirements can hardly be met. In addition, the network nodes of the telecommunications networks must be exempted from the requirements. Otherwise, larger network nodes could mainly only be built in regions with heating networks. In addition, all German data centers are to be operated with 50 percent green electricity from 2024 and 100 percent from 2027. However, data centers depend on the German electricity mix, and this electricity mix is set by politicians.
The German federal cabinet passes a draft for an energy efficiency law. Former Bitkom President Achim Berg commented: "The draft for the Energy Efficiency Act has a fundamental design flaw: it sets up hurdles that data centers simply cannot master. Some of the specifications are simply unrealistic and have only one effect: data centers migrate to neighboring countries, and this helps neither the German economy nor the global climate. In its current form, the Energy Efficiency Act would endanger Germany as a data center location and put the brakes on digitization."
Digitization, the growth of Big Data, the expansion of decentralized work models and the further adaptation of the Internet of Things are leading to increased demand for new data centers. According to Statista, the total value of this market will reach approximately $342 billion in 2023, an increase of more than 6 percent compared to 2022. Due to the rise in energy prices and construction and equipment costs, companies will look for alternatives to traditional IT infrastructure models, which will increase interest in colocation. A report by market researcher Arizton shows that 2023 will be a record year in terms of the colocation sector. "The most important factor contributing to the growth of the colocation market is the need to improve control over operating costs while ensuring access to professional and secure IT services," said Wojciech Stramski, CEO at Poland-based data center provider Beyond.
Data centers are the control centers of digitization. The more energy-efficiently and sustainably they are operated, the better not only their own ecological footprint, but also the footprint of digital solutions and applications as a whole.
The digital transformation is leading to an increasing demand for additional computing power, hard disk storage and devices, and thus also for energy. As calculations by Schneider Electric show, data centers will consume about 54 percent more energy by 2025 than in 2022 due to global digitization. Data from the study "Data Centers and Data Transmission Networks" currently puts global CO2 emissions from data centers at about 0.9 to 1.3 percent. The data center industry is expected to decarbonize and move toward climate neutrality.
Colocation can reduce operating costs improve and increase access
Ensure IT services.