United States Data Center Energy Usage Report

This report estimates historical data center electricity consumption back to 2000, relying on previous studies and historical shipment data, and forecasts consumption out to 2020 based on new trends and the most recent data available. In 2014, data centers in the U.S. consumed an estimated 70 billion kWh, representing about 1.8% of total U.S. electricity consumption. This report shows that data center electricity consumption increased by about 4% from 2010-2014, a large shift from the 24% percent increase estimated from 2005-2010 and the nearly 90% increase estimated from 2000-2005. Energy use is expected to continue slightly increasing in the near future, increasing 4% from 2014-2020, the same rate as the past five years. Based on current trend estimates, U.S. data centers are projected to consume approximately 73 billion kWh in 2020. A combination of efficiency trends has resulted in a relatively steady U.S data center electricity demand over the past 5 years, with little growth expected for the remainder of this decade. Along with the energy efficiency resource already achieved, there are additional energy efficiency strategies and technologies that could significantly reduce data center electricity use below the approximately 73 billion kWh demand projected in 2020. Many of these efficiency strategies are already successfully employed in some data centers while others are emerging technologies that will be commercially available in the near future. The potential impact from an adoption of additional energy efficiency strategies is explored, which estimate an annual saving in 2020 up to 33 billion kWh, representing a 45% reduction in electricity demand when compared to current efficiency trends. Author(s): Shehabi, A., S. Smith, D. Sartor, R. Brown, M. Herrlin, J. Koomey, E. Masanet, N. Horner, I. Azevado, and W. Lintner