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Department of Energy Commits to Energy Efficiency in U.S. Data Centers

September 18, 2007 - 2:46pm

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DOE and The Green Grid Sign Memorandum of Understanding

NEW YORK, NY - U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alexander Karsner today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Green Grid, to increase energy efficiency in the ever-growing information technology sector.  The Green Grid is a consortium of information technology companies seeking to lower the overall consumption of power in data centers around the globe.  Assistant Secretary Karsner and John Tuccillo, director of The Green Grid, signed the MOU at the New York Stock Exchange, kicking off a day of in-depth discussions with operators of financial services data centers.

"The agreement signed today with The Green Grid builds on the Department's continued effort to improve energy efficiency in the private sector," Assistant Secretary Karsner said.  "Data centers represent an important part of the information economy, and joining forces with The Green Grid puts us on a path to identify and build the necessary tools for thousands of data centers to more easily capture energy savings."

The DOE-Green Grid MOU intends to focus on assisting data center operators and facilities to initiate and implement an energy management program and adopt clean energy and efficiency technologies.  Specifically, the MOU identifies future activities DOE and The Green Grid may collaborate on to: develop a common set of metrics and tools; develop a website so data centers can easily access tools and resources to initiate and implement an energy management program; encourage data centers to obtain energy savings assessments; train company personnel in conducting energy savings assessments and in using tools to identify energy efficiency enhancements; and define areas of pre-competitive research and development for data center operations.

As part of Assistant Secretary Karsner's discussions today, DOE and The Green Grid have also set a common goal of improving overall energy efficiency in data centers by 10 percent by 2011, factoring in current projected data center use.  Approximately 10 billion kilowatt-hours would be saved, equivalent to electricity consumed by 1 million U.S. households annually.  These energy savings would also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 6.5 million tons per year - equivalent to removing nearly 1.3 million cars from the road annually.

Because data centers are among the fastest growing industries in the United States, DOE has identified them as key to increasing energy efficiency, reducing load on the electricity grid, and enhancing data center reliability.  Last year, data centers were estimated to have used 61 billion kilowatt-hours, or 1.5 percent of electricity in the United States, and it is projected to grow 12 percent per year through 2011.

In an effort to evaluate, reduce, and more efficiently use energy in data centers, this MOU complements DOE's strong record of working collaboratively with industry.  Since 2005, DOE has completed 344 energy savings assessments in some of the Nation's most energy-intensive companies.  These energy savings assessments have identified over $585 million in potential savings.  If fully implemented, these energy improvements would yield CO2 emission reductions equivalent to removing nearly 850,000 cars from the road each year.  DOE's energy savings assessments directly work toward goals outlined in President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative, which seeks to change the way we power our cars, homes and businesses.

View the MOU, more information on DOE's energy savings assessments, and more about DOE Partnering with Computer Data Centers.

Media contact(s):

Julie Ruggiero, (202) 586-4940

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