The upcoming COP Conference to be held in Glasgow has put the climate on top of the agenda for every corporation, Government and institution in the world. Mankind has watched in horror as wildfires, heatwaves, extreme weather events and record-breaking temperatures have assailed many parts of the globe during this last Northern summer.
It is our collective responsibility to act with alacrity to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The use of fossil fuels must be dramatically reduced to save the planet. The actions of individual actors such as Lewis Pugh have placed a spotlight on the impact of climate change on the polar regions which now needs to be acted upon.
The data centre industry is acknowledged as a major energy consumer and hence contributor to global warming. Many companies who rely on data centres most notably the ‘Hyperscalers’ have already started going green by installing renewable sources to power their in-house data centres. This is to be lauded.
However, the majority of other data centre operators remain well behind the curve. In Africa most data centres rely either on the grid (if actually operational) or on generators (usually diesel powered).
It is time for their customers to demand change. Consumers are so often the drivers of social and technological change. If you knew that your Google search or Facebook post was powered by a green data centre versus a fossil fuel powered data centre – would you care? Given the prevailing climate calamity we would posit that consumers do care – a lot.
There are very few solar powered data centres in Africa. In Ghana, ONIX is setting the trend by using a solar farm alongside its Tier 4 data centre as its primary power source. The data centre is located outside of Accra on a site which is surrounded by extensive open land. This land has already been secured for future expansion of the data centre and the solar farm.
Customers of the ONIX data centre can be assured that they are doing everything possible to address the climate emergency. This should be one of the critical criteria when considering taking your IT requirements off premise. Very soon your own customers will start demanding you do so ….