How much energy does the cloud need?

Austro-German study on behalf of the European Commission

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Vienna, 4 March 2019 – One in four enterprises in the EU uses cloud computing - for e-mails or for the storage and sharing of data. Which IT infrastructures and IT services are used over the internet and how the use of cloud computing will develop in the EU-28 in the coming years is now, for the first time, the subject of a study carried out by the Environment Agency Austria and the German Borderstep Institute for Innovation and Sustainability. Experts analyse how much energy cloud computing requires and how energy efficiency can be taken into account in public cloud service procurement. The aim is to develop recommendations for energy-efficient and eco-friendly computing services in Europe.


With eco-friendly technologies into the data future


The experts’ analysis of the use of cloud computing in the EU focuses on the energy efficiency of the huge central data centres which ensure that data can be stored online and accessed anywhere in the world. With new technologies such as Industrie 4.0 and autonomous driving, decentralised storage and processing of data will become more and more important. Energy consumption will be measured with a model of the Borderstep Institute, which is used in Germany already. The analysis of the cloud technologies and services and their future application areas will be carried out by the German project partners. The Environment Agency Austria’s task will be to concentrate on the framework conditions for the cloud computing market in Europe. The experts will examine which framework conditions, such as eco-label standards or national specifications for eco-friendly technologies, are currently available for the virtual structures and services in the Member States. This will provide the basis for the development of public procurement strategies for eco-friendly digital services.

Borderstep Institute for Innovation and Sustainability


Borderstep is an independent, non-profit scientific institution that explores the future and examines what will come (innovation) and what will stay (sustainability). The focus is on developing problem solutions and action strategies for sustainable economic activity. The Institute is based in Berlin, Germany. Borderstep and the Environment Agency Austria have been in contact for almost 10 years. The study is their first collaborative partnership project at European level.


Environment Agency Austria: leading IT consultant for environmental issues


The Environment Agency Austria, leading IT consultant and service provider for environmental issues in the public sector, specialises in the development of environmental information systems, databases and applications that conform to eGovernment standards. The Environment Agency Austria’s expertise in IT and environmental matters is applied to innovative IT solutions for business and administration at national and international level.

The IT experts of the Environment Agency Austria are specialists in the following fields: database networks, reporting systems, monitoring and measuring software and geographical information systems. Their range of services covers the development of complete and innovative systems, including web technologies and web services, as well as eGovernment applications, systems and applications operation and service desks with user support and user training.


Further information:

Petra Kestler, Press Office, Environment Agency Austria, e-mail:, Tel.: +43 (0)1 31304-5413

Maya Kristin Schönfelder, Press Officer, Borderstep Institute for Innovation and Sustainability, e-mail:, Tel.: +49 (0)30 - 306 45 100-8