Data Center energy use growing while overall industrial use declines

WSJ had an article on weak power demand.

Weak Power Demand Dims Outlook


Electricity sales remained weak in the third quarter, prompting speculation that the sluggishness could persist even after the U.S. economy rebounds. Some utilities don't expect power sales to recover to pre-recession levels until 2012 -- if at all -- because so many factories have closed.

Getting a read on future demand is crucial for utilities because they require long lead times to build power plants and make other upgrades. Declining sales put pressure on utilities to raise prices, cut costs or make other adjustments to bolster profits.

[Workers last month in Charlotte, N.C., home of Duke Energy. ]Associated Press

Workers last month in Charlotte, N.C., home of Duke Energy.

The sector began to feel the recession, which started in late 2007, later than many others. Sales held up well in the first half of 2008 but then declined and have continued falling this year, though some regions are reporting an uptick. The federal Energy Information Administration expects overall electricity sales to decline 3.3% this year and grow modestly next year, but many utilities anticipate far larger declines for the year.

Duke Energy Corp. said its energy sales to the textile industry based in the Carolinas fell 20% in the third quarter, versus a drop of 13.7% for sales to all industrial users. For the first nine months of 2009, electricity sales to the textile industry were down 23.5%, from the prior year, and overall industrial sales were down 15.8%.

American Electric Power Co. of Columbus, Ohio, which owns utilities in 11 states, saw industrial electricity sales plunge 17% for the third quarter versus the year-ago period. Chief Executive Mike Morris said his company is counting on industrial demand recovering about a third of the lost ground in 2010.

There is no decline in the overall use of data center power, and John Rath has a post on European data center revenue doubling 2010 – 2015.

European Data Center Revenue May Double

November 30th, 2009 : John Rath

Several stories from recent weeks highlight the vibrant data center industry in Europe. Here’s a roundup:

European data centre revenue set to double
A report published by Tariff Consultancy Ltd notes that European data centre revenue is “set to more than double over the five year period from 2010 to 2015, with net raised floor space to increase by 70%, driven primarily by price increases.” The report gives pricing and forecasts for 19 of the EU25 countries and analyzes pricing of a standard 19″ rack, a small cage space and a 50 KVA suite of space for each of the countries.  It also dives into trends impacting data centres such as raised floor capacity in markets, revenue per square meter forecasts, electricity pricing, pricing per rack and cage, and the most expensive data centre countries.