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Cloud Computing Could Cut Data Center Energy Use 38% by 2020

The adoption of cloud computing will lead to a 38% reduction in worldwide data center energy expenditures by 2020, compared to a business as usual (BAU) scenario for data center capacity growth, according to Cloud Computing Energy Efficiency, a new report from Pike Research.

As part of its cloud computing adoption scenario, Pike Research forecasts that data centers will consume 139.8 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity in 2020, a reduction of 31% from 201.8 TWh in 2010. This also represents a significant decrease from the 226.4 TWh that would be consumed by data centers in the firm’s BAU scenario. The reduction will drive total data center energy expenditures down from $23.3 billion in 2010 to $16.0 billion in 2020, as well as causing a 28% reduction in GHG emissions from 2010 levels.

“Few, if any, clean technologies have the capability to reduce energy expenditures and GHG production with so little business disruption,” says senior analyst Eric Woods. “Software as a service, infrastructure as a service, and platform as a service are all inherently more efficient models than conventional alternatives, and their adoption will be one of the largest contributing factors to the greening of enterprise IT.”

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