A green piece

16 September 2014 |

Blog Author |


As data traffic increases exponentially across the globe, operators are starting look at the effects such enormous consumption is having on our planet’s natural resources.

As data traffic increases exponentially across the globe, operators are starting look at the effects such enormous consumption is having on our planet’s natural resources.

In the same way our oil resources will dry up, so too will our supply of coal and the telecoms industry needs to find cleaner, greener ways of powering their many outputs if we want to have anything left to power.

And although it might seem logical that big operators are largely to blame for the negative effect the telecoms industry is having on the environment, a recent study points the finger at another party.

The Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) conducted a survey this year which revealed that data centres - and not even the big ones - are major culprits.

The study said that approximately 12 million US-based small, mid-sized and multi-tenant data centres operate in a “comatose” state, but still employ significant amounts of power.

“Opportunities abound to reduce energy waste in the data centre industry as a whole,” said Pierre Delforge, director of high tech sector energy efficiency at NRDC.

“But systematic measures are needed to remove the barriers limiting its broad adoption across the industry.”

Ironically, operators are starting use these “systematic measures” to reduce their energy consumption. In August 2014, Verizon announced a $40 million green energy programme for the deployment of solar energy panels at eight of its network facilities across the US.

The US firm plans to install 10.2MW of solar power at eight facilities across California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, and has already invested almost $140 million in on-site green energy.

It claims to be on target to deploy in excess of 25MW of green energy upon completion of the new solar projects.

Specialised telecoms solar power companies are also starting to pop-up across the globe, like Sollatek and Sunelco which offer the comprehensive design, provision and installation of Solar generated power supply for any telecoms-based project.

It now falls on the industry’s larger carriers to continue the drive towards greener initiatives, and impart this philosophy on smaller, specialised players.