Orient Magazine Issue 84 - October 2021 - Page 58

SPECIAL FEATURE : SUSTAINABILITY
IN FOCUS INTERVIEW

In Focus

Paul Kelleher , Corporate Relations Director , Asia- Pacific , Diageo

In the Society 2030 plan , Diageo pledges to work with the whole value chain – the people , resources and environment that contribute to success from grain to glass in a 10-year action plan to help create a more inclusive and sustainable world .
Kelleher shares more on how Diageo plans to achieve their goals and how they filter down from a global initiative to the regional and national level .
59 SPECIAL FEATURE: SUSTAINABILITY - COMMITTEE CONTENT THE FUTURE OF GREEN DATA CENTRES The Future of Green Data Centres Singapore and the region's view of the data centre industry Tim Rockell Managing Director and Founder, EnergyStrat Asia Pte Ltd, Consultant for KPMG, and Chair, BritCham Energy and Utilities Committee Singapore is firmly in the digital industry sector, winning a race to attract high tech companies and build its own home- grown clusters of innovative corporations. The government has played its own part in developing innovation with a smart nation and digital government technology agency driving strategy across ministries. This has further led to the development of digital districts such as Punggol. The attractiveness of Singapore as a key commercial hub for the region creates a demand for secure data storage and management, this has resulted in an explosion of data centres across the island with many more planned in the coming years. Although this has left Singapore with a dilemma. Data centres are well known energy guzzlers and one of the major contributing factors being the massive air- conditioning systems required to cool the large quantities of heat being produced by the IT equipment on a small island with year-round average daily temperatures of 30-34 Celsius. The tropical climate results in 35-40 percent of the energy consumed by a data centre meeting cooling need. There are around 60 data centres in Singapore with an anticipated growth rate of around five percent. These accounted for around seven percent of Singapore’s electricity demand in 2020 and are additionally a large user of water resources. In 2015 power for data centres in Singapore was 240 MW, rising to 500 MW in 2020 and 700 MW in 2022. By 2030 this is forecast to exceed 1,200 MW, according to estimates by Keppel DC. Whilst Singapore has the power capacity to meet this demand, the challenges of building sufficient renewable energy capacity on a small island has led to a conflict with Paul Currie Account Leader, Mott MacDonald and BritCham Energy and Utilities Committee member attaining Singapore’s climate goals and meeting green ambitions of the tech giants like AWS, Microsoft, and Google. In 2019, the government announced a moratorium on new data centre development until Singapore can find a solution to this dichotomy. A panel formed by the Energy & Utilities, Sustainability and Built Environment Committees examined Singapore's plans for the Data Centre industry, the energy challenges this poses and how providers are rising to the challenge to ensure Singapore can continue to play a leading role in this global industry. The panel discussion and presentations focused on: • how data centres will manage their huge demand for energy from a practical perspective as well as • regional developments, international practices for adaptation and, • how they can tackle the challenge of decarbonisation through efficient design and transitioning to renewable energy sources and or mitigating emissions through carbon offsets. Panellists included: • Paul Currie, Energy Sector Leader at Mott MacDonald Singapore Pte Ltd (Moderator) • Lorena Paglia, Regional Engagement Leader, CCE Sustainability Subject Matter Expert, Microsoft Asia Pacific (Session Chair) • A/Prof Lee Poh Seng, Executive Director, Energy Studies Institute at National University of Singapore • Dennis Wee, Head, Innovation at Keppel Data Centres • Andrew Roche, Partner at Ashurst LLP PS Lee set the scene for the demand and sustainability of data centres in Singapore and what lessons can be taken forward when looking at the technical solutions and standards in Singapore. Setting the pathway to greening the data centre industry. Dennis Wee elaborated on how the data centre of the future might look like in Singapore. Keppel has been at the forefront of commercial data centres in multiple countries. With a focus on Singapore and technology, Keppel Data Centres has been exploring both supply side and demand side innovations for sustainable data centre development in Singapore. Andrew Roche highlighted the regulatory and commercial consideration for those seeking to build data centres in ASEAN. He has been advising on data centre developments in the region and recently in Indonesia. There is actually very high competition in the region to attract data centre development, although electricity markets, and grid stability, have a major impact on the greening of data centres. According to the International Energy Agency, data centres already account for 200 TWh per year in energy consumption. While the amount of computing done in data centres increased by about 550 percent between 2010 and 2018, the amount of energy consumed by data centres only grew by six percent during the same period. These energy efficiency gains outpaced anything seen in other major sectors of the economy. As a result, while data centres now power more applications for more people than ever before, they still account for about one percent of global electricity consumption—the same proportion as in 2010. Singapore’s moratorium in 2019 was intended as an opportunity to buy time for the government to reassess the market and allow the industry to come up with new and more energy efficient power solutions. Amsterdam also applied a data centre building moratorium in 2019 due to strains on the property market and power networks. The ban was lifted after a year under conditions including locating data centres in specific zones, with limits on power use and floor space. Investors need to question whether other ASEAN locations may be viable alternatives. For other southeast Asian countries there is an opportunity to attract projects that might otherwise have been in Singapore. Jakarta, for instance, has the second highest sub-sea cable hub for connectivity in the region after Singapore and is rapidly building-out onshore fibre connectivity. Data sovereignty laws are attracting new investment in digital infrastructure with added benefits of access to huge renewable energy potential for hydro, solar and geothermal. Grid stability needed for data centres does present a hurdle as does accessing new renewable generation through PLN, except for designated industrial parks. Singapore has opportunity cost in three areas, investment lost today due to the moratorium, loss of job creation opportunity in the industry, and reduction in long run competitiveness, for what is an increasingly critical service. The moratorium can spur innovations within Singapore's data centre industry, making Singapore a world leader in terms of computing density, energy use, and sustainability. Keppel has been instrumental in leading research for the data centre of the tropics. High rise data centres and floating data centre parks have been considered with a focus on energy efficiency. Centralised power and cooling are proposed with advantage of reduced land footprint. Modular construction brings advantages of faster time to market and recyclable parts. Singapore’s exploration for green energy options includes short to medium term imports of green electrons through interconnectors with its neighbours and from even further afield with high-capacity super connectors, and over the medium to long term, the establishment of a hydrogen supply chain. Keppel has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kawasaki, Linde, MOL and VOPAK to study the technical and commercial viability of a liquified hydrogen supply infrastructure to power Keppel’s data centres in Singapore. The panel considered that it is not a question of whether the moratorium will be lifted, but one around the timing and conditions for it to happen to retain its regional lead as a digital nation. Click on the image to watch the replay of our Future of Green Data Centres webinar, recorded on 28 September and featuring our expert panellists. For information on the work of the committee and to access upcoming and past content click here. The Energy & Utilities Business Committee is delighted to once again be a partner of Singapore International Energy Week. It is holding a ThinkTank Roundtable as part of the conference programme on trade and commercial opportunities on the journey to decarbonising ASEAN. Click here to register.