Speech by Mr Leong Keng Thai, Deputy Chief Executive & Director-General (Telecoms & Post) Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, at the Green Data Centre Forum

14 March 2013 - Speech by Mr Leong Keng Thai, Deputy Chief Executive & Director-General (Telecoms & Post) Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, at the Green Data Centre Forum, 14 March 2013, Maple Tree Business City

Speech by Mr Leong Keng Thai, Deputy Chief Executive & Director-General (Telecoms & Post) Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, at the Green Data Centre Forum, 14 March 2013, Maple Tree Business City

Mr Quek See Tiat
Building and Construction Authority

Dr John Keung
Chief Executive Officer
Building and Construction Authority

Distinguished guests

Ladies and gentlemen

1. Good morning. A very warm welcome to everyone here at The Green Data Centre Forum 2013.


2. We are living today, in an environment where large amounts of data are generated and the trend is likely to continue unabated. According to the 2011 IDC Digital Universe Study, 130 exabytes of data were created and stored in 2005. One Exabyte is 10 to the power of 18. This grew to 1,227 exabytes in 2010 and is projected to grow at 45% annually till 2015. To manage this exponential growth in data, companies worldwide are gearing up to build data centres that are needed to store, process and transmit data which is the life-blood of many companies in the new digital economy.

3. Singapore is a preferred location for hosting strategic enterprise IT operations and data centres. We are leading in terms of total commercial data centre space in the region and it is growing at a phenomenal rate. This has also attracted the likes of Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to build their regional mega data centres here in Singapore. The development of the Data Centre Park, which is a joint initiative by IDA, EDB and JTC, will provide a conducive, efficient and cost effective environment to attract more premium data centres.

Data Centre Energy Efficiency

4. As the demand for data centre space increases, there is a need to ensure the sustainable development of data centres in an energy constrained world. It makes extremely good business sense for data centres to go green and become more energy efficient, as the green bill makes up a significant portion of their operating budget. Energy efficient data centres are also better insulated against the risk of rising energy cost.

5. The BCA-IDA Green Mark scheme for data centres provides recognition to those who have demonstrated success in improving their energy efficiency. I would like to join the CEO of BCA, in congratulating the pioneer batch of four data centres that have been awarded the Green Mark. I am sure that the local data centre industry will derive inspiration from these successful awardees and endeavour to have many more Green Mark certified data centres in the near future.

6. I would also like to take this opportunity to elaborate on the other complementary initiatives undertaken by IDA to enable greater energy efficiency and environmental sustainability in Singapore data centres.

IDA's Green Data Centre Initiatives

Establishing A Common Ground

7. IDA, together with the Information Technology Standards Committee (ITSC), has developed and published the Singapore Standard for "Green Data Centres: Energy and Environmental Management Systems" also know as SS 564 for short. SS 564 is the world's first energy and environment management systems standard specifically tailored to the needs of the data centres. SS 564 addresses the issue of "how to go green" and this complements the BCA-IDA Green Mark for Data Centres scheme which helps data centres to understand "how green" are they.

8. Certification to SS 564 provides many tangible benefits. The standard inculcates the culture of continuous improvement by establishing a framework that helps to identify gaps and areas for improvement in energy efficiency. So far more than ten data centres have been certified to SS 564. Based on our survey, PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) improvements of up to 35% have been reported after the adoption of the standard.

Fostering Innovation

9. To encourage data centres to push the envelope in adopting innovative green technologies, IDA issued the Green Data Centre Innovation Challenge Call-for-Collaboration. One winning consortium led by Equinix, piloted solutions for their older data centre, SG1, resulting in annual efficiency savings of 11 million kilowatt hours. The other consortium led by Toshiba operates their data centre at higher ambient temperature and uses outside air to cool the data centre. These are examples of innovations that can revolutionize the way data centres are designed and operated in Singapore. You will hear more from the two winning consortiums later today.

Improving Energy Efficiency With Incentives

10. While all new data centres are generally designed to be green from day one, we understand that many of the existing data centres were built with legacy technologies. There are significant cost saving opportunities for these legacy data centres if they were to retrofit more energy efficient technologies and systems.

11. IDA has formulated the Investment Allowance Scheme for Energy Efficiency Projects (for Data Centres). The scheme helps existing data centre operators lower the cost of capital expenditure incurred in implementing energy efficiency retrofits.

Charting Technology Direction

12. Besides setting standards and encouraging data centres to improve their energy efficiency performance, IDA is also developing a Green Data Centre Technology R&D Roadmap. The roadmap will chart the development and deployment pathways of green data centre technologies in Singapore. To be developed in collaboration with the data centre industry, academia and relevant public sector agencies, the roadmap will help to create a shared vision of common goals among all relevant stakeholders. Through the process of this roadmap development we hope to be able to identify not only deployable green data centre technologies but also technologies that need to be researched and developed to meet the unique requirements of data centre industry in Singapore.


13. In closing, I encourage our data centre industry to embark on a green data centre journey together with IDA and BCA.

14. I also wish to thank BCA for co-organising this Green Data Centre Forum with IDA, as well as our partners from both the public and private sectors for their strong support and contributions in shaping various green data centre initiatives.

15. I wish all of you a fruitful and informative forum today. Thank you.