The plan for revision of the energy efficiency benchmark
On 1st February, the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE) of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) presented a revised plan for an energy efficiency benchmark system. The ANRE added the data center business to the list of target industries, and set the PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) at 1.4 that the top 15% of the data center business operators are able to satisfy with. In addition, the compressed gas and liquefied gas manufacturing industry as well as the automobile manufacturing industry will be newly included in the system. The soda industry will raise its target values where many operators have met their targets. The ANRE has started to collect the public comments from the mid-February and the notification of revision will be enforced on 1st April of this year.
The ANRE presented an interim report at “The Working Group on EC Guideline for Factories, etc.” (WG Chairman: Dr. Shinya Sasaki, Professor at Tokyo University of Science) of the Subcommittee on Energy Conservation Working Group of the Advisory Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (an advisory body of METI).
The Act on the Rational Use of Energy imposes an obligation to make efforts to reduce energy intensity by 1% or more per year on average over a five-year period. In addition to this, the ANRE established a benchmark system to set the energy consumption efficiency level for each industry to aim at, and has encouraged their efforts.
According to the 2018 data, the domestic data centers consumed about 14 billion kWh, accounting for about 1.4% of total domestic power consumption. It is expected to further increase in the future, and some estimate that it will be about six times higher in 2030 than in 2018.
For the data center buildings and the ancillary facilities, PUE, which indicates how many times more energy is used for the entire facility than for the IT equipment in such facility, is used as an indicator. Based on the questionnaire on business operators, a target value of 1.4 was set. The average value obtained from the questionnaire was 1.7.
On the other hand, for energy conservation of IT equipment itself, such as servers, the ANRE will start assessing the amount of energy consumption of IT equipment in FY2022. Based on the assessment results, the ANRE will consider whether to introduce its energy consumption efficiency index in the future.