Jeff Barber, a data center industry veteran, recently joined host Andy Davis of the Inside Data Centre podcast to discuss the industry’s current state, focusing on power demands, microgrids, AI’s impact, sustainability, and workforce diversification.
As power demands surge in the data center sector, it’s time for a shift away from longstanding standardization practices toward innovation. Jeff emphasizes the need to explore alternative energy solutions. While traditional practices have their place, evolving challenges necessitate a more creative approach.
Solving The Data Center Power Problem: Are Microgrids the Answer?
“The answer is, in my opinion, microgrids. That could be on-site generation with a combination of fuel cells, much cleaner combustion, green power, or batteries,” says Jeff.
A sustainability focus is vital for data centers facing growing power demands. Barber highlights the benefits of reducing carbon footprints by 25-35% immediately through innovative solutions. Bloom Energy’s solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology, which avoids combustion, significantly cuts emissions with no NOx and SOx at all. It doesn’t solve the problem, but it’s certainly on the right path.
The Next Generation Holds the Key
Sustainability in the data center industry isn’t just about technology; it requires a diverse, educated workforce. Attracting and mentoring young talent is crucial for its future. Jeff emphasizes education, suggesting individuals learn about the industry and participate in training and industry events. With the industry facing an aging workforce, these steps ensure a vibrant future.
“You have to have a teamwork approach or mentorship approach where you’re taking young people who are interested and showing them the inner workings of the data center”
Jeff and Andy dive deeper into power constraints and solutions alongside preparing the industry for longevity with the diversification of the workforce. Be sure to listen to the full podcast here. For more on Bloom Energy for data centers, be sure to subscribe to NetZero News or visit their website BloomEnergy.com.