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Google center to adopt green solution amid energy price hike concerns

2012/04/03 22:01:37

Taipei, April 3 (CNA) Google Inc. said Tuesday it will incorporate energy-saving solutions into the design of its new data center in Taiwan, amid local concerns over a possible increase in electricity rates.

"We've taken that into account, into our investment in this data center, which is actually one of the reasons why we are very committed to a green solution to minimize our energy consumption," Daniel Alegre, president of Google's Asia-Pacific division, said at the groundbreaking ceremony of the firm's data center in central Taiwan's Changhua County.

Alegre also stressed that Google decided to set up a data center in Taiwan because of the country's "reliable sources" of electrical energy and power.

His remarks came days after the government approved significant hikes in fuel prices to offset the rising costs of importing the nation's oil supplies.

There has been speculation that the government will also soon raise electricity rates.

One way that Google will increase energy efficiency at its new facility is to adopt a nighttime cooling and thermal energy storage system, according to the company.

The world's largest Internet search engine explained that the data center will cool large quantities of water at night while temperatures are low and power is more plentiful, storing it in insulated tanks where it will retain its temperature.

During the day, especially in the summers when Taiwan heats up and power is more expensive to produce, Google will circulate that cold water throughout the facility to keep it cool.

Google Taiwan Managing Director Chien Lee-feng said the nighttime cooling system, the first of its kind to be used at any Google data center, will enable the Taiwan center to use 50 percent less energy than typical facilities.

The new facility in Changhua will be one of the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly data centers in Asia, with each element custom designed to operate at optimal efficiency, Chien added.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs announced the removal of a mechanism that partially freezes domestic fuel prices Sunday.

The decision, which took effect Monday, has increased local gasoline prices by between 7 and 11 percent, the highest one-time jump since 2008.

In the past, government-run companies CPC Corp., Taiwan and Taiwan Power Co. were subsidized by the government to absorb hikes in energy costs, which did not reflect surging global oil prices, ministry officials said.

(By Jeffrey Wu)