Sustainability concerns to be addressed as more data centres set up in Cyberjaya - Cyberview - MIDA | Malaysian Investment Development Authority
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Sustainability concerns to be addressed as more data centres set up in Cyberjaya – Cyberview

Sustainability concerns to be addressed as more data centres set up in Cyberjaya – Cyberview

30 Nov 2023

As Cyberjaya is poised to become the preferred investment location for technology companies to set up their data centres, concerns of increasing emissions and the consumption of resources must be addressed.

Illustrating the growth of demand for data centres, Cyberview Sdn Bhd (Cyberview) chief executive officer Kamarul Ariffin Abdul Samad said the ever-increasing demand for data processing which was triggered by digitalisation and automation, makes data centres a critical backbone of the digital age.

He said Malaysia and particularly Cyberjaya had also been capatilising on the Asia Pacific region increasing digitalisation which is abetted by the strength of its e-commerce growth and mobile penetration that provide access to massive digital content.

“…This new development underpins an increasing demand for data centres in a rapidly growing digital economy, and the role Cyberjaya plays in catering to the digital infrastructure needed.

“Additionally, recent trends indicate further growth in this sector can be expected in the immediate to mid-term,” he said in a statement today.

However, Kamarul Ariffin said the recent evolvement of data centres in par with artificial intelligence (AI) technology development and its adoption into mainstream working culture does not come without concerns regarding its sustainability implications.

“For example, a researcher from the University of California, Riverside, said that OpenAI’s generative AI, ChatGPT, needs one small bottle of mineral water to cool down for every five to 50 prompts it answers…. Meanwhile, Google has also reported an increase of 20 per cent in water consumption across its offices and data centres due to the shift towards growing its AI efforts.

”While advancements of technology are inevitable, and supporting its growth is necessary, constantly encouraging and embracing innovation in the space of sustainability in tandem, is of equal importance,” he said.

As such, Kamarul Ariffin said the conservation of the environment and a sustainable approach to development in this sector must be seen as ‘second nature’ moving forward.

Towards this end, he said, Cyberview had recently co-organised a workshop on harnessing potential renewable gases and cogeneration (CoGen) technologies to benefit data centres with the Malaysian Gas Association (MGA) in support with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

Moreover, he said the company had also put in place sustainability and low-carbon projects throughout Cyberjaya in the last several years including the establishment of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to encourge the usage of EV in the city and a centralised cooling facility using chilled water for more than 46 buildings which reduces 7,000 tonnes of emissions from the atmosphere annually.

He said Cyberview with its partners had also invested RM5 million to develop and install photovoltaic cells in parking areas and rooftops to harness solar energy.

“We are also exploring further opportunities with other potential partners on harnessing solar and renewable energy for Data Centres in Cyberjaya, including the feasibility of a floating solar power plant on the surface of bodies of water via the enhanced Corporate Green Power Programme and Third Party Access.

“These efforts are aligned with the National Energy Transition Roadmap, and we are looking to develop further and push innovation towards increasing the efficient use of energy and other resources to achieve Cyberjaya’s low-carbon city objective by 2030,” he said.

Source: Bernama