London, 3 Aug. 2010: Energy Secretary Chris Huhne’s first annual energy statement to Parliament threatens to drive many of the UK’s Data Centres off-shore to escape an energy pricing prejudice against business, says Alex Rabbetts, Managing Director of data centre company Migration Solutions.
The Government’s new energy statement promised that domestic bills would only rise by 1% by 2020 while business’ bill would rise by up to 43% as policies are implemented to reduce carbon emissions. “This pricing difference between business and home users will definitely make Data Centre companies think about moving off-shore to more attractive energy locations, like France or Germany,” says Rabbetts.
Data Centres are the large scale computer complexes that are behind banks’ cash machines, mobile phone networks and internet services. A data centre can use up to 50 times as much power as the equivalent business office space and an average Data Centre in the UK will pay a power bill of around £1million per year.
“Undoubtedly Data Centres do use a lot of electricity. However, they are also key to the new low carbon economy,” argues Rabbetts. “Information Technology (IT) uses 2% of the country’s electricity but it also provides many of the solutions that will reduce our domestic power consumption and carbon emissions. Initiatives proposed by the Government such as smart meters, home-working and stream lining their ICT strategy all completely depend on the information storage and computing power of our Data Centres.”
“When it comes to low carbon Britain, Data Centres are part of the solution – we need to take a balanced view of energy pricing and find ways to encourage the businesses that are helping this country reduce its carbon emissions, not drive them away,” says Rabbetts.
Data Centres employ around 95,000 people in the UK. Migration Solutions has been active in promoting the EU’s new Code of Conduct for Data Centres which helps reduce their power consumption and increase efficiency.
Migration Solutions will be exhibiting at 360°IT – The IT Infrastructure Event. 22-23 September 2010, London