Europe’s Energy Efficiency Economy

After a series of events in Brussels in April, is Europe now ready to commit to energy efficiency for 2020?

The EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) organized over 700 events across Europe to show, promote, discuss and celebrate energy efficiency and renewable energy. There were a number of events held in Brussels attracting 30,000 attendees, including a 3-day policy conference organized by the European Commission where they announced the next steps to deploy smart grids throughout Europe.

The Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) and the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) co-hosted the Energy Efficiency Global 2011 as an official EUSEW side-event. The Energy Efficiency Global Forum (EE Global), now in its fourth year, is a launching pad for ideas that change the energy landscape, bringing together high-level officials from government, business and NGOs.

EU targets

Europe 2020 is a set of five ambitious objectives – on employment, innovation, education, social inclusion and climate/energy – to be reached by 2020. The aim is for the EU to become a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy enabling EU and the Member States to deliver high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion.

Climate Action, EU action against climate change is an integrated energy and climate change policy. The goal is to set Europe on the right track towards a sustainable future with a low-carbon, energy-efficient economy by:

  • cutting greenhouse gases by 20% (30% if international agreement is reached)
  • reducing energy consumption by 20% through increased energy efficiency
  • meeting 20% of our energy needs from renewable sources.

EU not set to reach 2020 target

In 2006 the European Commission adopted an Action Plan for Energy Efficiency with the objective of controlling and reducing energy demand, and to take targeted action on consumption and supply in order to save 20% of annual consumption by 2020. Although substantial steps have been taken towards this objective (mainly in the appliances and buildings sector), recent Commission estimates suggest that the Union is actually only on course to achieve half of the desired savings. It is therefore essential for the EU to act now to get back on track to achieve the 2020 targets. The Commission has recently published a comprehensive Energy Efficiency Plan which aims to provide a holistic approach to identifying and realizing the savings potential.

The Commission has outlined a two-step approach to targeting in the 2011 Energy Efficiency Plan. The first stage will assess the national energy efficiency targets and programmes set by Member States and how they might contribute to the overall EU target. In 2013, the Commission will provide an assessment of the results obtained and whether the programmes will deliver the European 20% objective. If the 2013 review shows that the overall EU target is unlikely to be achieved, then as a second stage the Commission will propose legally binding national targets for 2020.

The biggest culprits

With nearly 40% of final energy consumption being in houses, public and private offices, shops and other buildings, the greatest energy savings and energy efficiency potential can be achieved through the renovation of this existing building stock.

Office buildings consume the most energy of all commercial building types. Lighting is the biggest consumer of electricity followed by office equipment.

office building energy use

There are tried and tested solutions available today to help reduce the 24% electricity consumption of office equipment.

Cut PC energy by 40%

PCs and monitors use almost three quarters the energy of all office equipment. For offices where the majority of PCs and monitors are left switch on overnight and at weekends a 40% reduction in energy consumption is achievable with PC and laptop power management. 1E’s NightWatchman® is a scalable, proven solution enabling organizations to safely and remotely power down PC’s overnight, significantly reducing energy consumption and their impact on the environment.

For example, an organization with 10,000 PCs:

Achieving a 40% reduction in energy consumption from 10,000 PCs would yield savings of 1,800 tonnes of CO2 emissions, equivalent to the carbon absorbed by 42,000 trees and a total cost reduction of €353,000 per annum on electricity¹.

15% of servers are doing nothing!

Similarly, power consumption of servers can also be reduced. NightWatchman® Server Edition is the key to making data centres and servers more efficient by reducing power consumption and redundant infrastructure and by avoiding future capital spending on new hardware. NightWatchman Server Edition measures power usage and activity across both physical and virtual Windows and UNIX / Linux servers. It provides continual analysis on how much power is being used by business applications and how much is being wasted on idle or non-productive work.

Useful Work™ tracks the productivity of physical and virtual servers, reporting on how much power is being wasted by idle or unproductive processes and comparing that with power consumption by business applications. If the server is busy doing the task for which it was bought and provisioned, then it is performing useful work; if it is busy doing anything else, however important, then it is performing non-productive work. For example, a SQL Server doing SQL processing is performing useful work since users and/or applications will typically access SQL. The same server performing self-maintenance tasks such as Anti-Virus scanning, Indexing, or Back-up, although important, is not doing useful work since it is not directly serving end users.

In the findings of the 1E / Alliance to Save Energy independently commissioned research, the Server Energy & Efficiency Report, it was found that up to 15% of servers are not doing anything useful and can therefore be decommissioned or repurposed.

For example, an agency with 10,000 PCs would require approximately 1,000 servers.

Achieving a 15% reduction in servers (150) will deliver savings of $3,053² per decommissioned server in management and administration costs, equating to an immediate savings of €457,950, and will reduce CO2 emissions by 572 tonnes. This is equivalent to the carbon absorbed by 14,700 trees, and results in an additional cost reduction of €126,144 per annum on electricity³.

Drowsy Server® dynamically controls energy consumption and costs when no useful work is being performed, while keeping the server available if it is needed, savings from using Drowsy Server can be up to 12%.

A nominal 33% – 50% of a Server estate is readily capable of achieving a 12% reduction in energy consumption. From the remaining 850 servers this would yield savings of approximately 195 tonnes of CO2 emissions, equivalent to the carbon absorbed by 5,000 trees and a subsequent cost reduction of $42,889 per annum on electricity4.

Employing both Useful Work and Drowsy will bring the total savings to approximately 846 tons of CO2 with a total cost reduction of $801,000 per annum in electricity, management and administration costs5.

Act now

The message is clear, energy saving through energy efficiency is the most cost effective way to enhance security of supply and at the same time to reduce emissions. This translates to doing more with what you currently have. The technology is available today to manage the power consumption of PCs and servers, offering organizations across Europe massive saving. All of which will help contribute to Europe’s 2020 targets of cutting greenhouse gases by 20% and reducing energy consumption by 20% through increased energy efficiency. Act now before the impending doom of the 2013 legally binding targets.

Speak to an IT efficiency expert today!

Endnotes

1: PCs = average 84Watts
0.084kW x 24hr x 365days = 735.84kWh x 10,000 PCs = 7,358,400kWh
7,358,400kWh x 0.544kg CO2 = 4,002,970kg / 4,003 tonne CO2 (40% = 1,601 tonne CO2)
7,358,400kWh x €0.12 electricity = €883,008 (40% = €353,203)

2: $145,000M / 33,000,000 servers = $4,400 / €3,053 per server (1USD = €0.69) (In 2008, approximately $145,000M was spent on new server spending and management and administration of 33M servers, according to IDC report: “Optimizing Infrastructure and Server Management in Tough Economic Times”)

3: (400 watts/server is according to Gartner study referenced above: “U.S. Data Center Conference Focuses on How to Do More With Less,” Gartner, June 2, 2009)
(energy cost for running unused servers continuously for a year + cooling cost for running unused servers continuously for a year assuming a Power Usage Effectiveness value of 2, according to EPA average PUE 2.04, 2006)
Server = average 400Watts
0.4kW x 24hr x 365days = 3,504kWh x 150 servers = 525,600kWh
525,600kWh x 0.544kg CO2 = 285,926kg x 2 for PUE = 571,853kg/ 572 tonne
525,600kWh x €0.12 electricity = €63,072 x 2 for PUE = €126,144

4: Physical server = average 400Watts
0.4kW x 24hr x 365days = 3,504kWh x 850 servers = 2,978,400kWh
2,978,400kWh x 0.544kg CO2 = 1,620,250kg x 2 for PUE = 3,240,499kg/ 3,240 tonne CO2
(12% = 389 tonnes CO2 ÷ 2 for 50% of servers power managed = 194.50 tonnes CO2)
2,978,400kWh x €0.12 electricity = €357,408 x 2 for PUE = €714,816 (12% = $85,778 ÷ 2 for 50% of servers power managed = €42,889)

5: 572 + 195 = 767 tonnes CO2
€457,950 + €126,144 + $42,889 = €626,983

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