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In France, 13 Public and Private Data centers commit to reducing their energy consumption

January 2024 by Marc Jacob

Thirteen public and private French actors of the cloud have responded to the challenge posed by the first edition of "CUBE Data Center." Three local authorities and 10 companies commit to reducing the energy impact of their data centers, benefiting the climate and their finances.

Conceived in 2013, the "CUBE" method (Climate Uses Building Energy) offers a challenge to reduce the energy consumption of tertiary buildings. Its variations dedicated to educational institutions, funded by ACTEE, show significant results, with a 12% energy savings in the first year.

With "CUBE Data Center," APL DATA CENTER, Crédit Agricole, Data4, EDF, Schneider Electric, and the Energy Savings Certificates (CEE) program ACTEE (FNCCR) launch a new energy-saving challenge with the support of France Datacenter and GIMELEC.
"CUBE Data Center" is open to both companies and local authorities. This initiative led by A4MT will be an unprecedented tool for mobilizing data center stakeholders (data centers, computer rooms, etc.). At the core of the approach is the measurement and monitoring of real energy performance.

Digital consumption of energy is on the rise

Digital represents 10% of energy consumption in France, with a growth rate of 10% per year according to the government’s "digital" working group. Controlling these consumptions is a climate imperative and, in the context of rising energy prices, a financial challenge.
There are numerous levers to reduce consumption. Within a data center, air conditioning and server power supply are the main consumption areas. Optimizing the infrastructure, reducing cooling temperatures, and better scheduling server operations are among the first solutions to implement.

What awaits the 13 candidates in the competition?
An initial audit will be conducted to assess energy consumption and identify potential savings. Throughout the year, the data centers of the 13 candidates will be supported to maximize their energy savings, evaluated in comparison to the two previous years.
A monthly report, through a software platform, will allow participants to track their results and compare them anonymously with those of other similar-sized and typology candidates. Best practices and on-the-ground solutions will be shared and highlighted to create a collective emulation dynamic. The winners will be announced at the end of the year.

The goal is to have 100 candidates by 2025.
After this pilot season, the partners hope to gather more candidates in 2025. For example, ACTEE has set the goal of bringing together 100 local authorities for Season 2.
Regarding funding, the ACTEE program covers 100% of the registration fees for public actors in the challenge and supports 50% of the initial audit costs for their installations, with an average cost of €2000 to €5000. Private actors finance their participation themselves.

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