Renewable Energy in Real Estate: Data Centers Lead the Way

Jul 15, 2020 10:05 AM ET

Renewable Energy in Real Estate: Data Centers Lead the Way

by Sam Adams, VERT Asset Management 

Data centers have made significant investments in energy efficiency, but our insatiable appetite for data continues to grow. Renewable energy can reduce our data’s carbon footprint. 

Buildings consume 40 percent of global energy and create 30 percent of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions; they are a big part of the climate change puzzle. Energy heats and cools our buildings and it keeps the lights on. Obvious energy reduction strategies are better insulation, LED lighting, and smart thermostats. The energy needs of our data, and the solutions, are less obvious. We’ve moved our music, our movies, and more of our lives into the “cloud”. But our data isn’t actually stored in a cloud. It resides in real buildings we call data centers, which have a large and growing carbon footprint.

Data centers now use over one percent of global electricity. And because the internet never shuts off, power is required 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Using so much global energy puts a spotlight on what types of energy is being used at technology companies and the data centers that house internet services across the globe. 

Read Sam's full article including The Path to Renewable Energy and Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration, here -