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Decarbonising data centres will shape the green transition

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Financial Times or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that AI responses from ChatGPT consume 2.9 watt-hours of energy, significantly more than a Google search
• This highlights the growing energy demands of data centers, especially with the rapid adoption of AI technologies

🔭 The context: The data center industry is poised for substantial growth, with energy consumption projected to double from 460 TWh in 2022 to 1000 TWh by 2026
• Major tech companies are already taking steps to address this demand, such as Microsoft's deal to fund up to $10 billion in renewable energy projects with Brookfield

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The expanding energy requirements of data centers represent a significant hurdle for the energy transition
• Nonetheless, tech giants are leveraging their resources to back renewable energy projects and mitigate environmental impact, setting an industry standard

⏭️ What's next: Matching electricity supply with demand is crucial, particularly with the volatility of renewables
• Tech companies are exploring various solutions, including batteries, long-duration storage, and potential investments in nuclear energy, such as Microsoft's work on small modular reactors

💬 One quote: "The upside, however, is that tech giants are rich, innovative and keen to curry favor with the general public. They are already big buyers of renewable energy, signing long-term power purchase agreements that enable developers to build new capacity."

📈 One stat: Data centers will account for more than 30% of Ireland's electricity consumption by 2026

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