Green renewable energy has gained fame as a trendy answer to the problems of fossil fuels, such as pollution and finite supply. However, sustainable energy is more than just a fad. It’s become a compelling method for businesses to cost-effectively power their operations while helping the environment.
Renewable energy is hardly new. Humans have harnessed wind, water, and solar power for generations, although the technology to convert these natural resources into productive work has evolved over the years. These and other green renewable energy sources now provide inexpensive electricity for data centers and other facilities and will do so for the foreseeable future.
Green Energy Use: What the Numbers Say
Global electricity use is on the rise, along with the ensuing carbon emissions. In recent years, green renewable energy has gone from a relatively small alternative to the main direction of American and international energy policy. In fact, its use grew at an annual rate of 15% from 2011 to 2020.
More than two-thirds of Americans think the country should focus its efforts on renewables, putting the U.S. on the path to becoming carbon neutral. People expect a transition to renewable energy to improve air and water quality, create job opportunities, make the electrical grid more reliable, and reduce power costs.
It’s not just renewable energy that’s going big but also green data center cooling. Modern processors require more power to keep up with data demands; and will produce more heat as a result. Sustainable cooling includes liquid immersion cooling, renewable resources, and heat recycling. Each approach minimizes the impact on earth’s natural environment while delivering reliable performance.
The Real Environmental Benefits of Sustainable Power Sources
Green renewable energy offers many benefits for the environment. Resources like wind and sunlight are widely available and will remain so, unlike limited fossil stores we’re now depleting.
What’s more, digging fossil fuels out of the ground releases a range of harmful toxins. Pollution occurs during the extraction processes and when burning the fuels. These toxic substances fill the air and make their way into the food chain and our bodies.
By contrast, green renewable energy is clean. It doesn’t force the same environmental toll as dirty fossil fuels. Converting wind or sunlight into electricity has minimal environmental effects while delivering usable power. In addition, green energy also has advantages for society and the economy. For example, unlike fossil fuels, energy sources like wind and sunlight are available anywhere in the world.
The economy continues to use more power as electronics become more widespread and power-hungry each year. The same long-term transition to green practices in the wider economy has special relevance for data centers. Cooling systems, which use much of a data center’s electricity, are transitioning to liquid immersion solutions like those available through Green Revolution Cooling (GRC).
Key Benefits of Sustainability for Businesses
Companies that transition to green renewable energy will see numerous advantages that can help them get ahead:
- Green renewable energy can reduce power bills for businesses. This matters in general and even more so for energy-intensive businesses like data centers.
- Clean energy provides marketing opportunities since customers favor responsible companies.
- With green energy, a business reduces its carbon emissions. On top of the direct environmental benefits, this also helps to achieve sustainability goals.
- The company can become eligible to receive government grants for greener practices.
- The development of the renewable energy sector is producing a lot of high-quality jobs for engineers, installers, and others involved in the green energy transition.
For companies that generate their power onsite, green energy offers even more advantages. For example, it’s a lot quieter and safer to run a data center on solar than diesel generators. You also aren’t exposed to the same maintenance needs or regulations for fuel.
Sources of Renewable Energy
Green renewable energy can be produced from several different sources:
- Hydroelectric power is generated from water pulled down by gravity. As the water runs over a turbine, it produces an electric current that can then run businesses.
- Solar power converts energy from the sun into electricity. Solar cells collecting sunlight have become a common sight on rooftops.
- Wind turbines have also become relatively common. As wind blows over the blades, they spin a generator that produces electricity. Solar and wind are only available at certain times, so they’re often paired with other sources.
- Geothermal energy uses heat stored in the earth to convert water to steam.The steam then runs through a turbine to produce electricity. While geothermal is less well-known than other energy sources, it’s already in widespread use. Some countries rely on geothermal for a substantial percentage of their total electricity.
Hydrogen and biomass are other renewable energy sources available.
From farms to factories, electricity from green resources make processes cleaner. In data centers, the main uses of electricity are IT hardware and cooling equipment. Green cooling solutions complement renewable energy for the ultimate eco-friendly data center.
Green Renewable Energy Is the Future
Clean sources of electricity have moved beyond hype and into the mainstream. Due to the environmental and business advantages, green renewable energy will continue to grow in importance. Renewables are abundant, safe, and competitive on cost with conventional fuels. They also reduce emissions.
Businesses that rely on green renewable energy will see increased respect and loyalty from customers as they save on electricity while saving the planet. Their sustainable practices also tie in with other green initiatives like using energy-efficient liquid immersion cooling.
GRC is the leading producer of immersion cooling solutions. See the advantages of next-gen cooling in the guide Data Center Sustainability Metrics with GRC’s ICEraQ®—Going Beyond the Traditional Data Center.
Now’s the time to transition to green energy sources and a green data center infrastructure. These technologies will become standard in the coming years, but the most innovative facilities aren’t waiting. They’re going green now and reaping the financial and environmental benefits. Contact GRC today to learn how your data center can be more sustainable.