Opportunities for renewables, data centre energy efficiency in 2020

By Lex Coors, Chief Data Centre Technology & Engineering Officer, Interxion

In light of global discussions about climate change and the need for sweeping sustainability efforts, there has been an increasing focus on growing the use of renewable energy around the world. In fact, 26.2 percent of global electricity generation came from renewables in 2018, and this number is expected to reach 45 percent by 2040.

Business leaders across the globe have already, and continue to, prioritise renewable energy to reduce carbon emissions at the corporate level. Large organisations especially can do their part to create a healthier planet by investing in clean energy, which in turn sets a positive example for others to follow suit.

As we enter a new decade in 2020, I think we can expect to see these environmental efforts amplified, particularly thanks to a price decrease for corporate power purchase agreements (PPA), or a long-term electricity supply contract between a provider and buyer. As a result, we will see more organisations go into PPAs – arranging for wind farms or solar power systems, for example. PPAs can considerably reduce a business’ energy costs, while stimulating the growth of clean energy projects and helping the organisation meet its own corporate sustainability initiatives.

To date, the PPA market is still shy in Europe, but has matured nicely in the U.S. In fact, businesses in the U.S led the way, signing almost 70 percent of the global PPAs last year, compared to less than 20 percent of all PPAs by EMEA corporations. This presents a great opportunity for development in the countries where Interxion operates across Europe. PPAs are already starting to boom in Spain, and we as a company are actively following up on the progress of PPAs worldwide, ready to consider all opportunities as part of our own sustainability efforts.

Businesses will also continue to drive change in sustainability in other ways, such as improving their energy efficiency or even setting aggressive sustainability goals. Interxion is proud to be a pioneer in this space, improving energy efficiency through technological innovations and operational behaviours.

For example, 100 percent of Interxion’s energy comes from renewable sources. As part of our commitment to sustainability, we have embraced and pioneered innovative energy-saving designs in our facilities that harness everything from arctic winds to underground aquifers and the Baltic Sea, helping reduce our carbon footprint. Additionally, in 2015, Interxion launched a corporate energy management initiative to lower the overall power usage effectiveness (PUE) in its data centres across Europe, which has helped reduce the company’s overall carbon footprint.

We look forward to seeing what 2020 has in store for more opportunities to progress our own sustainability goals while helping other organisations colocating in our data centres achieve their objectives.

To learn more about Interxion’s sustainability commitment, click here.