Enel X shares new energy solutions for data centres at DCD Singapore
Data centres should capitalise on their unique position to turn energy into a competitive advantage and help resolve theenergy trilemma
Published on Thursday, 17 October 2019
Enel X took part in Datacenter Dynamics’ DCD Singapore event this month, sharing innovative energy solutions with data centres and technology companies alike.
DCD Singapore is the Asia Pacific region’s leading data centre and cloud infrastructure event. More than 1,500 local and international industry attendees spent two days discussing the design, build, management and operation of the entire infrastructure ecosystem.
Jeff Renaud, Head of Enel X Asia and Oceania ran a session on “How data centres can turn energy into a competitive advantage”.
The renewables transformation is driving today’s changing energy landscape. Reliable, affordable and clean power is essential for data centres, which account for 4% of global power usage, and where energy costs can make up 15-25% of the total cost of ownership.
In addition, reliable power is essential to meeting uptime standards. Data centres also have goals and supply chain pressure to convert to 100% renewables over time.
With their high energy usage, data centres are in a unique position to play an important role in helping energy markets balance the energy trilemma: reliability vs. cost vs. sustainability. The energy system urgently needs more capacity, and the only solution to the energy trilemma is to build new capacity.
Power flexibility, also known as demand response – the ability for businesses to intelligently adjust when they use grid power – is the best form of new capacity. By being flexible with their use of grid power, businesses are lowering energy costs, reducing price risk and supporting the transition to renewable power.
Enel X works with data centre clients around the globe to help them harness their inherent power flexibility to gain a competitive edge through unrivalled market access to demand response programs.
Power flexibility programs are fast to implement and deliver cost savings on a par with other more costly efficiency or automation initiatives, with no capital expenditure required.
Businesses that use power flexibility by switching to backup generation or powering down non-critical equipment actively provide new capacity to the energy system with emergency capacity, contingency reserves, balancing reserves and critical peaking energy.
Our data centre clients are able to sell capacity in the energy market in competition with generators. They can commit a dispatchable resource to the market operator under certain conditions and get paid for being on stand-by and when energy is delivered.
With power flexibility, businesses can create a new revenue stream at no capital expense, reduce energy costs by 3-13% and contribute to keeping grid power costs down during the transition to renewables.
Mr Renaud also participated in a panel discussion on “What role does the data center play in South-East Asia's urban energy ecosystems?”.
The panelists included Susanna Kass, United Nations Sustainable Development Group; Derek William, Building & Construction Authority, TW International Counsel; Joshua Au, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR); and Dr. Veronika Shabunko, National University of Singapore.
The panel discussed the interaction between digital infrastructure and urban environments, and how energy networks and the digital infrastructure sector can collaborate to drive more win-win scenarios in South-East Asia.
Mr Renaud argued that power flexibility will continue to drive more win-win outcomes across the region, as more data centres use their backup supply to provide grid stability, reducing the need to build new, expensive generation capacity.