The disaster at fukushima nuclear power plant sent a fear wave across the world on nuclear energy & its safety. Though it is a natural disaster, humans are still bewildered by the power of Mother Nature. The disaster at fukushima had thrown open a plethora of questions on the safety standards at nuclear plants. This forced many of the developed nations to look back at their energy policies and salvage alternative ideas to develop smarter energy solutions to not just power homes, but also commercial establishments.
Data centers which are huge energy guzzlers form a major chunk of the commercial power consumption. Hence it is important that when developed nations think of shutting down their nuclear plants they also keep in mind the energy demand that the alternative sources have to fulfill.
The first step towards eradicating nuclear power plants came from Germany. The country which is hailed to be the most technologically evolved made a major announcement, stating all nuclear plants in Germany would be shutdown by 2022. This announcement sent the world to tizzy. With developing nations like India, who have started investing in nuclear power very recently, were perplexed to see a country completely shutting down their dependence on nuclear plants. In the ASEAN region, developing nations like China, India have a serious energy crisis, with the economic constraints these countries have it is very difficult for them to invest on research to find alternative energy.
Nearly a quarter of Germany's electricity comes from nuclear power so the question becomes: How do you make up the short-fall? The official commission which has studied the issue reckons that electricity use can be cut by 10% in the next decade through more efficient machinery and buildings. The intention is also to increase the share of wind energy. This, though, would mean re-jigging the electricity distribution system because much of the extra wind power would come from farms on the North Sea to replace atomic power stations in the south.
Protest groups are already vocal, forested centre of the country which, they fear, will become a north-south “energie autobahn” of pylons and high-voltage cables. Some independent analysts believe that coal power will benefit if the wind plans don't deliver what is needed.
With tremendous challenges ahead for finding alternative sources of energy, how efficient data centers is still debatable. Technology has changed geographies in a quick span. The impact technology has made to mankind in the past 2 decades is unparallel. But with newer technology also comes new problems. Although eradicating nuclear plants is a novel thought, the technology that would replace it will face a tough challenge, as its not just efficiency but also being environmentally friendly they have to address. To find a sustainable alternative source, many design and equipment changes have to be also made. With Germany taking the first step by making their data centers nuclear independent, the dream of a greener, efficient data centers will soon become a reality.
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