27 Oct MCMC Promotes Green Technology
The chill rooms are an innate feature of the server rooms or data centres. However, keeping the rooms chill 24/7 is costly as it consumes huge amount of energy.
The high amount of energy consumption in turn contributes to greater carbon footprint, the greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities.
In today’s world where reducing carbon emissions is a prerequisite in daily activities including trade, any way to reduce the carbon footprint from these server rooms or data centres are most welcomed.
This is where a Malaysian company’s invention Eco2 has made the mark, a liquid based ICT cooling system that does away the need for cold server rooms. Green Data Center LLP’s invention won the E-Environment Award during the 2016 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva and is expected to change the global data centre landscape.
The credit for the Malaysian company’s success also goes to the complementing role played by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) that provided a helping hand when the invention was at the proof of concept (POC) stage.
The Malaysian Technical Standards Forum Berhad (MTSFB), established under Section 94 and 184 of the Communication and Multimedia Act, provides the necessary support for green technology based new innovations in the country.
In so far, the Grant on Green ICT (GICT) worth RM832,000 have been endowed for seven projects under the MCMC Green Initiatives. More grants will be rolled out for new projects that meet the criteria.
START UP ASSISTANCE
MCMC’s Senior Director, Technology and Society Division, Aisharuddin Nuruddin pointed out the grant is to promote innovation in this sector.
“We want to encourage the adoption of new technologies and enhance research and development of products that could help reduce the carbon footprint,” he said.
The grant is open to any ideas and projects relating to green technology in communication networking and infrastructure. The application for the grant is open throughout the year.
“This grant at the same time allows us to be actively involved in the POC phase. With a proven concept, it is easier for an inventor to commercialise his invention in the open market,” Aisharuddin elaborated.
In the eyes of the industries, these products are still at the infant stage and these POC grant will help the inventors fine tune their inventions or overcome the shortcomings.
Only those who register with MTSFB are eligible to apply for the grants. The project working paper has to be evaluated by GICT’s panel and when approved the grant will be released in stages.
PRODUCTS AND RESEARCH
So how does this grant works. For example the inventor of Eco2 was given a year to conclude the POC.
The invention is proven to halve the energy consumption and the carbon footprint compared with the conventional cooling system utilised at the data centres.
It is also beneficial from the cost aspect. The capital expenditure (capex) required is 40 percent lower compared with the conventional system.
GICT has also sponsored several studies on the use of energy by the telecommunication sector and the government owned data centres.
Companies like TM, Maxis, Digi, P1 and Time shared data on their electric power utilisation throughout 2013 and 2014. The study is meant to measure the baseline use of electricity by the communication companies in the country.
In 2013, this sector’s electricity consumption accounted for 1.025 percent of the country’s total electricity consumption. The figure went down to 0.995 percent in 2014.
“Based on the study, the energy consumed added 942,226 tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere in 2013 and 954,295 tonnes in 2014.
“The information from this study is crucial in our forward planning. With the industry growing rapidly we hope the industry players will also use energy efficiently to reduce the carbon footprint,” explained Aisharuddin.
THE PUBLIC SECTOR PARTICIPATION
A study on the energy consumption and the carbon footprint of the data centres at 10 government ministries or agencies was also conducted.
They include Ministry of Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government, Federal Territories Ministry, Health Ministry and Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water.
Also involved are the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Higher Education Minister and Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.
The government agencies that took part include Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA).
Aisharuddin noted that two of the ten parties in the study recorded scores that indicate they are highly efficient. Most of the parties involved only scored average and they were even some being very inefficient.
For MCMC, its not only about regulating the converging communications and multimedia industry. MCMC also has a role in promoting green technology within the industry.