Energy efficiency of data centres

The IEA estimates that global data centre electricity consumption in 2022 was 240-340 TWh, or around 1-1.3% of global final electricity demand.  This excludes energy used for cryptocurrency mining, which was estimated to be around 110 TWh in 2022.

To date, most policy efforts have focused on the energy used for cooling and lighting within data centres, as well as the use of renewable energy and export of waste heat. Developing policy to address ICT energy use is more difficult. There is a lack of suitable metrics, a lack of the data required for metrics, and the data centre environment is very complex and highly dynamic.

EDNA’s workstream on data centres addresses these issues.  The following tasks are proposed, and links to reports and policy briefs will appear here as they are published (those marked with an asterisk are underway):

  • *DC1a. Total energy model 4.0
  • *DC1b. Comparison of data centre models
  • DC1c. Long term modelling
  • *DC1d. Energy efficiency of servers
  • DC2a. Policy observatory update
  • *DC2b. Collecting public data
  • *DC4. Labelling and consumer information
  • *DC3. Metrics and standardisation

EDNA’s Total Energy Model models the energy consumption of data centres – this work is continuously evolving.

EDNA’s previous work in this area includes the following:

Task ID Title Publications
Total energy model Model 2021
31 Policy development on energy efficiency of data centres Report 2024

Policy brief 2024

28 Policies for Data Centre Energy Efficiency: scope, trends and data availability Report 2023
23 Energy efficiency metrics for data centres Report 2022


The Idle Coefficients: KPIs to assess energy wasted in servers and data centres Report 2021
9 Intelligent efficiency for data centres & wide area networks Report 2019
Blockchain energy consumption Policy brief 2022
Upstream consequences from connected devices Policy brief 2020