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Every circle of your friends is consuming electricity: the national data center has used more electricity than Shanghai

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Editor’s Note: This article is from WeChat public account “Daily Economic News” (ID: nbdnews), author Xie Zhenyu, Song Kejia, editor Zhang Haini, Wang Jiaqi, Du Bo.36氪 is authorized to be released.When you sent a circle of friends, and hope to re-examine the present day after many years, behind the back is a data center created by the operation of a machine.However, the data center is a big power consumer.”In 2018, the nation’s data center ‘eat’ lost 160.89 billion kWh of electricity.” A report jointly released by environmental group Greenpeace and North China Electric Power University disclosed the data.What is the concept of electricity consumption?It is more than the total electricity consumption of Shanghai in the year of 2018 (156.7 billion kWh), accounting for 2.35% of the total electricity consumption in China (excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan data).High-density and high-energy data centers use a large amount of electricity, which has also attracted much attention.The reduction of PUE (energy use efficiency) and the reduction of energy costs of basic equipment are currently the focus of attention.Zhang Wenzhao, senior director of Greenpeace Climate and Energy, said: “At the dawn of the 5G era, China’s technology industry should cross the ‘PUE era’ and purchase renewable energy as an important solution to the energy challenge.”Electricity is in a small town called Prineville, Oregon, USA, where there is a huge data center that Facebook has built.In China, Alibaba has deployed ultra-large data centers in Qingdao, Beijing, Hangzhou, Zhangjiakou and Shanghai.With the growth of data and technology development, the number of data centers is growing steadily both at home and abroad.According to the “Green Data Center White Paper” (hereinafter referred to as the White Paper) disclosed by the China Electronics Standardization Institute this year, from 2015 to 2017, the growth rate of China’s data center area has remained above 10%, and it is in a stage of rapid development.According to the white paper, in 2017, the power consumption of China’s data center was 122.15 billion kWh.Behind the surge in data center scale is the continued rise in energy consumption.In July of this year, Lu Tianwen, secretary general of the Data Center Energy Conservation Technical Committee of China Electronic Energy Conservation Technology Association, said that the power consumption of China’s data center has been growing at a rate of more than 12% for eight consecutive years. It is estimated that the total power consumption will be 2020.It reached 202.3 billion kWh.Data center energy consumption values ​​may actually be higher than statistical results.”Statistics is the majority, but in fact, there are some small data centers, there is no way to count.” Recently, Lu Tianwen told the Daily Economic News (micro-signal: nbdnews) reporter.Recently, Greenpeace and North China Electric Power University jointly released the report “Lighting up the Green Cloud: China’s Data Center Energy Consumption and Renewable Energy Use Potential” (hereinafter referred to as the “Report”).The Report predicts that the number of data center racks and their energy consumption will continue to grow in the next five years.Among them, the total number of racks in the national data center is expected to exceed 4 million in 2022.At the same time, with the rapid growth of the number of racks, the total energy consumption of the national data center will also exceed 200 billion kWh between 2020 and 2021, and will grow rapidly in the following years, breaking through 250 billion kWh in 2023.In fact, the huge energy consumption of data centers has been the focus of attention.In February this year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the State Organs Administration and the National Energy Administration issued the “Guiding Opinions on Strengthening the Construction of Green Data Centers”, which requires that by 2022, “the average energy consumption of data centers will basically reach the international advanced level, and new large-scale and super-sizedThe PUE (power usage efficiency) of large data centers is less than 1.4”.Since 2017, data centers such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen have also intensively introduced policies to control their energy consumption. Among them, Beijing Central City has completely banned the construction and expansion of data centers.Shanghai requires that by 2020, the city’s Internet data center will have 60,000 new racks, with a total scale of 160,000.Promote data center energy-saving technical transformation and structural adjustment. The PUE of the data transformation data center is not higher than 1.4, and the PUE of the new data center is limited to 1.3 or less.The white paper pointed out that the current industry data shows that the average PUE of China’s data centers is between 2.2 and 3.0. As the size of the data center grows larger and larger, the power consumption surges.The high energy consumption of the data center not only brings a heavy burden to the enterprise, but also causes a huge waste of energy in the whole society.The efficiency of power usage is regulated by key data centers. High energy consumption is mainly from IT equipment and refrigeration systems.According to the report, these two parts account for 40% of the total energy consumption of the data center.Among them, reducing the energy consumption of the refrigeration system is the focus of the current data center energy conservation and energy efficiency.Especially for the PUE mentioned in the policy, the important way to reduce it is to solve the cooling problem.Many companies are working hard to reduce PUE through the refrigeration chain.A manufacturer of production servers in the industry told the Daily Economic News (micro-signal: nbdnews) that the data center’s current energy costs are high and that more advanced refrigeration technologies are being developed to provide customers with lower energy consumption products.At present, the more common and very simple solution is to build the data center in a cool place and use air to cool down.Tencent established its largest data center in Guizhou, and Ma Huateng once said: “Guizhou’s temperature and humidity are very suitable for data storage.”However, in Zhang Wenzhao’s view, it is not enough to deal with the energy consumption challenge only by considering the PUE index. While the scale and number of data centers are restricted in the first-tier cities, the application of renewable energy should also become an important assessment standard for new data centers.And for enterprises, Zhang Wenzhao believes that the use of renewable energy will reduce the energy cost of enterprises in the future.Zhang Wenzhao told reporters about the daily economic news (micro-signal: nbdnews): “In the northwest region, wind power photovoltaics, in fact, the cost of power generation has been lower than that of thermal power. In the future, around 2021, the country should achieve a comprehensive power generation terminal parity online.In other words, about two years or so, in the future, all new wind power PV on-grid tariffs will be the same as local coal-fired grid-connected electricity prices. Of course, in the longer-term future, the price of wind power PV will continue to fall, so after about three or five years, new constructionThe cost of generating electricity from wind power photovoltaic projects will be lower than that of thermal power.” But Zhang Wenzhao pointed out that domestic companies are not aware of the initiative to purchase renewable energy sources, such as not aware of the possibility to install rooftop distributed photovoltaics, while in foreign countries, Microsoft in 2018It signed a power purchase agreement with the US sustainable energy power group sPower to purchase 315MW of photovoltaic power from the latter Pleinmont PVportfolio project.The “Report” also introduced that by signing long-term power purchase agreements with power generation parties, Microsoft not only enjoyed the economies of scale of purchasing clean electricity from large-scale renewable energy power generation projects, but also had the ability to hedge the risk of rising electricity prices in the future.However, can renewable energy be stably supplied to a 24-hour “coupling” data center?Lu Tianwen believes that all new energy sources, whether wind power or photovoltaics, are not stable enough. For data centers, renewable energy is more likely to be used in non-critical areas such as lighting systems and office systems. “But in IT cabinets in data centers,Basically we think it is still not possible.”.