Government encourages public cloud adoption for net-zero

The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has advised businesses to consider moving to public cloud as a way of cutting their carbon emissions.

The news comes amid wider initiatives by the BEIS to encourage firms to commit to achieving net-zero by 2030.

The BEIS advisory note claimed that “large cloud providers are generally more energy efficient than traditional enterprise datacentres.”

The note advised businesses to consider moving data from on-premises servers to the cloud because of “IT operational and equipment efficiency, datacentre infrastructure efficiency, and a higher utilisation of renewable energy.”

The government body also encouraged businesses to “think about deleting data that is no longer needed – redundant, obsolete or trivial – to minimise storage costs once migrated to the cloud,”

According to BEIS research released in July, less than half of the UK population hold ‘a fair amount’ of net zero knowledge but after being given some information about net zero there was support from around 4 in 5 of the survey’s respondents.

Data centres account for 1 percent of all electricity consumed worldwide according to research by academic journal Nature.

Despite the massive increase in the overall amount of data being stored, the overall electricity use of these data centres only rose 6 per cent worldwide due to gains in efficiency.

Various technologies have been highlighted by government bodies as helping on the path to net-zero; in May TechUK and the Centre for AI and Climate published a paper on how machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) can support the transition of the electrical grid to net-zero.

“From buying energy-efficient equipment to sourcing large cloud providers, these small steps can collectively make a big difference in helping us fight climate change and create a brighter and more sustainable future,” said Andrew Griffith MP and net-zero business champion.

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