- The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is preparing for the rising demand forecasted for data centers, driven in part by emerging digital technologies and anticipated growth in the region.
- Sustainable data centers play an important role in meeting Dubai’s Net Zero Emissions targets for 2050
The Green Data Center seminar gathered over 80 regional experts and data center industry stakeholders this week 13 September in Dubai to discuss the pressing need for sustainability in data center operations, as one of the crucial factors in achieving regional decarbonization goals.
The seminar, co-hosted by Danfoss and DEIF in collaboration with Danish Trade Council, explored the important role energy efficiency must play in data center sustainability particularly as Dubai’s digital economy is expected to reach more than $140 billion in 2031, up from today’s nearly $38 billion.
The event’s discussions align with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Global Stocktake report, which underscores the urgent need to reduce global emissions by at least 43% by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, as stipulated in the Paris Agreement. As Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), emphasized, doubling the rate of energy efficiency progress and tripling renewable power capacity globally by 2030 is essential. Data centers, as one of the key industries, have a pivotal role to play in achieving these critical targets.
New research from the IEA shows that while the amount of computing done in data centers increased by about 550% between 2010 and 2018, the amount of energy consumed by data centers only grew by 6% during the same time. The difference between these two data-points is striking and is attributed to rapid improvements in energy efficiency that have helped limit energy demand growth from data centers, which accounts for about 1-1.5% of global electricity use. These improvements in energy efficiency need to be sustained and accelerated so as to meet the UNFCCC’s global emissions targets.
Ziad Al Bawaliz, Regional President at Danfoss Turkey, Middle East, and Africa, emphasized the event’s significance, stating: “With the region’s booming potential for digital services, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, there is likely to be significant demand growth for data centers in GCC in the next few years. As we head into COP28, energy efficiency will play an increasingly vital role as it is the single largest measure the world can take to reduce energy demand. Energy efficiency is, and always should be, the ‘first fuel’ for clean energy transitions.”
Ambassador Lars Steen Nielsen, Consul General of the Embassy of Denmark, who opened the event, commented: “Energy efficiency has the potential to be pivotal, and this seminar echoes the COP28 Presidency’s call for prioritizing energy efficiency on a global scale. We are excited to engage with Danfoss, DEIF, global partners and work towards a greener future.’’
Tomas Anker Christensen, the Climate Ambassador of Denmark, who virtually addressed the audience during the event, added: “Denmark has been asked by the UAE presidency of COP28 to lead the political facilitation of the outcome of the global stocktake together with South Africa. One of the central themes at COP28 is the role of technology in our climate efforts. Danish technology holders like Danfoss, DEIF, and many others are at the forefront of developing cutting edge solutions. They can revolutionize industries and future proof them against climate challenges.”
The event featured engaging panel discussions, with key participants from the Gulf Data Center Association, Khazna, MORO Hub, Gulf Data Hub, Equinix, Al Masaood, Uptime Institute, who shared their insights into the path to sustainable data centers. The event was aimed at raising awareness of the solutions that exist already to decarbonize data centers and which can significantly contribute towards the region’s ambitious decarbonization goals.
Alexandre Maraval, Vice President Asia & Managing Director APAC, DEIF, said: “This has been a great event during which we could acknowledge the importance of continuing our efforts in developing solutions based on sustainable sources of energy. We are confident that DEIF’s strategy and Energy Management Systems are fully in line with the decarbonization targets we all understand as a growing necessity for a better future. But at DEIF, we have a commitment to Improve Tomorrow as we are excited to tackle the challenges ahead and are extremely proud to collaborate with a fellow Danish company in delivering real sustainable action.”
Danfoss and DEIF are both celebrating their 90th anniversaries this year and are committed to continuing their efforts to drive sustainability in the data center industry and enhance energy efficiency whilst aligning with global climate objectives and fostering a greener future.
About Danfoss A/S:
Danfoss engineers solutions that increase machine productivity, reduce emissions, lower energy consumption, and enable electrification. Our solutions are used in such areas as refrigeration, air conditioning, heating, power conversion, motor control, industrial machinery, automotive, marine, and off- and on-highway equipment. We also provide solutions for renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, as well as district-energy infrastructure for cities. Our innovative engineering dates to 1933. Danfoss is family- and foundation-owned, employing more than 42,000 people, serving customers in more than 100 countries through a global footprint of 95 factories.
DEIF develops and manufactures green, safe and reliable control solutions and products for decentralized power production – on land and at sea. At DEIF, they take lead in the green transition of the energy sector by offering control systems that improve the energy efficiency of all types of applications. Electrification plays an important part in the greening of energy systems. Hence, hybrid solutions that integrate traditional fuels with wind and solar systems including storage facilities play an increasingly important role in our product offering.