Greenpeace report highlights the need for transparency and collaboration in tech
The new Greenpeace Click Clean report – ‘Clicking Clean – who is winning the race to build a green internet?’ – states that greater transparency and collaboration within the data centre and technology industries will improve rising carbon emissions and sustainability in general.
The report analyses big tech and data centre companies on their use of renewable energy, advocacy and transparency on energy sources, and planning. Google, Facebook, Apple, and Switch received A grade ranking for meeting all criteria and being 100 percent powered by renewable energy. Many hyperscalers scored highly in the report for adoption and initiatives of renewable energy, but many others are being urged to improve advocacy, transparency, and work collaboratively.
Roel Castelein, Customer Services Director of IT efficiency company The Green Grid, said: “The Greenpeace Report is a good indicator that while there are definite movements towards a more sustainable data centre industry, many organisations have sought individual goals, rather than working together to share best practice and find the best ways to a sustainable future. Google, Facebook and Apple are constantly pushing the barriers of green innovation, while also working closely with energy suppliers to help achieve sustainable company targets. Their ability to advocate such measures is beginning to influence the rest of the sector, yet more must be done.
“Netflix is one such hyperscaler that whilst having one of the largest data footprints out of all the companies profiled, it has been urged to increase the adoption of renewable energy and advocate for more use of renewables across the data centre industry. As the video streaming market continues to grow and produce unprecedented amounts of data, the need for Netflix or an equally large provider to set the standard and advocate green policies can set a precedent for others to follow.”
“The growth in the amount of data demands that all data centre providers come together, rather than working in silos, and be clear in their use of renewable energy in creating a more sustainable industry. Whether it’s meeting government sustainability objectives, using renewable energy as secondary sources, or pushing for stronger connections with energy suppliers, it can all contribute to enhanced efforts in tackling carbon emissions.
“The need for data centre providers and end users to collaborate to ensure our use of data is sustainable has never been greater. Organisations like The Green Grid are providing the space for this to happen and are developing a range of tools to make sure that our growing dependency on technology is sustainable.”
Read the March 2017 edition of Energy Digital magazine
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.