Sustainability and climate actions dominate 2022 data centre trends to watch
V ertiv , a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions , has released its annual list of the key data centre trends to watch in 2022 , headlined by a dramatic acceleration in actions to address sustainability and navigate the climate crisis . Vertiv experts see long-held conversations around efficiency and utilisation in the data centre evolving to reflect a more comprehensive and aggressive focus on sustainability . This movement recognises the urgency of the climate crisis , the relationship between resource availability and rising costs , and shifting political winds around the world . “ As we move into 2022 , data centre operators and suppliers will actively pursue strategies that can make a real difference in addressing the climate crisis ,” said Rob Johnson , CEO , Vertiv . “ For our part , we continue to focus on energy efficiency across our portfolio , as well as alternative and renewable energy technologies and zerocarbon energy sources , to prioritise waterfree cooling technologies , and to partner with research leaders and our customers to focus on impactful sustainability efforts .”
The actions data centre decision-makers take on these fronts will have a profound impact on the digital economy in 2022 and beyond . The urgency of these challenges is reflected in the 2022 trends identified by Vertiv ’ s experts . Those trends are :
Data centres tackle sustainability and the climate crisis
The data centre industry has taken steps toward more climate-friendly practices in recent years , but operators will join the climate effort more purposefully in 2022 . On the operational front , Vertiv experts predict some organisations will embrace sustainable energy strategies that utilise a digital solution that matches energy use with 100 % renewable energy and ultimately operates on 24 / 7 sustainable energy . Such hybrid distributed energy systems can provide both AC and DC power , which adds options to improve efficiencies and eventually allows data centres to operate carbon-free . Fuel cells , renewable assets and long-duration energy storage systems , including battery energy storage systems ( BESS ) and lithium-ion batteries , all will play a vital role in providing sustainable , resilient and reliable outcomes .
According to Vertiv , thermal systems that use zero water are in demand and we will see refrigerants with high global warming potential ( GWP ) phased down in favour of low-GWP refrigerants .
More immediately , extreme weather events related to climate change will influence decisions around where and how to build new data centre s and telecommunications networks . Other factors , including the reliability and affordability of the grid , regional temperatures , availability of water and renewable and locally generated sustainable energy , and regulations that ration utility power and limit the amount of power afforded to data centres , play a part in the decision-making as well . •