New research — commissioned by The New York Times — from Stanford University professor Jonathan Koomey suggests that electricity consumption by data centers grew slower from 2005 to 2010 than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency predicted in a 2007 report. Electricity consumption by data centers grew by about 56 percent from 2005 to 2010. In the U.S., data center energy consumption increased by 36 percent.
The growth was significantly slower than it had been between 2000 and 2005, when data center energy consumption doubled. Koomey attributes the decline to the economic crisis that began in 2008, an increasing use of virtualization in data centers and industry efforts to improve the efficiency of data center facilities, says GeekWire. According to Koomey, data centers accounted for a little more than one percent of total electricity use from the grid.