Data Centers

Carbon-Aware Energy Capacity Planning for Datacenters

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Executive Summary

Datacenters are facing increasing pressure to cap their carbon footprints at low cost. Recent work has shown the significant environmental benefits of using renewable energy for datacenters by supply-following techniques (workload scheduling, geographical load balancing, etc.) However, all such prior work has only considered on-site renewable generation when numerous other options also exist, which may be superior to on-site renewables for many datacenters. Alternative ways for datacenters to incorporate renewable energy into their overall energy portfolio include: construction of or investment into offsite renewable farms at locations with more abundant renewable energy potential, indirect purchase of renewable energy through buying Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), purchase of renewable energy products such as Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) or through third-party renewable providers.

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