Alibaba Innovative Research (AIR) > Research and Development of Key Technologies, Applications and Systems for Carbon Neutrality
Research and development of key technologies, applications and system under new power system scenario to enhance data center carbon neutrality

Research Themes

Research and Development of Key Technologies, Applications and Systems for Carbon Neutrality

Background

In September 2020, China officially proposed the strategic goal of "carbon peaking by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060". Under the "Double Carbon" strategy, the state implements the “east-to-west computing resource transfer” project to build a nationwide integrated data center collaborative innovation system. The data center has become a key link in the energy saving and consumption reduction of new infrastructure and "east-to-west computing resource transfer". In March 2021, the ninth meeting of the Central Financial and Economic Commission proposed to accelerate the construction of a new power system with renewable energy as the main body. With the "source, network, load and storage" interaction and multi-energy complementarity as an important support, it aims to provide clean, low-carbon, safe and controllable, flexible and efficient power supply services. The Central Economic Work Conference at the end of 2021 proposed to speed up the transition from 'dual control' of energy consumption to 'dual control' of total carbon emissions and intensity. It was announced that the energy use of new added renewable energy and raw materials is not included in the total energy consumption control.

To align with the national “double carbon” goal, Alibaba announced its 2030 carbon neutrality goal and released the "Carbon Neutrality Action Report" on December 17, 2021. Alibaba Cloud takes the lead in realizing carbon neutrality in the value chain and aims to become a "green cloud".

Local government departments have increasingly stricter policies and regulations on the use and proportion requirements of renewable energy in data centers. The utilization of renewable energy has become an inevitable requirement for data center access, operation and sustainable development. The access, consumption and trade of renewable energy for a higher proportion use in data centers in the new power system is vital to achieve carbon peaking and carbon neutrality target. The data center suffers problems such as low utilization rate of diesel engines and other spare equipment and high emissions. The monitoring mechanism of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions has not been perfected, and the measurement and management of carbon emissions are often extensive, scattered and localized. A global and systematic management is in urgent need.

It is of great significance to conduct research on key technologies, applications and system integrating computing power, energy and carbon emission under new power system scenario to enhance data center carbon neutrality.

Target

  • To increase the proportion of renewable energy and improve flexible adjustment in data center energy supply with energy storage by hydrogen or others;
  • To reveal the potential of data center carbon reduction with flexible scheduling of the computing load;
  • To establish a global and systematic carbon management method and system;
  • To develop integrated computing power, energy and carbon emission model and integrated management, control and optimization system;
  • To fulfill the carbon neutrality commitment and carbon emission reduction policy requirements of the Alibaba Cloud data center.

Related Research Topics

Research on data center energy model optimization and market strategy for new power systems with renewable energy as the main body;

Research on modeling and operation of “source-network-load-storage” coordination in data center park integrating electricity and hydrogen;

Research on business load flexible scheduling strategy based on "computing power-carbon emission" coordination to model and optimize data center energy consumption and emission reduction;

Research and development of accurate carbon accounting, integrated energy and carbon management system for Alibaba Cloud data center to achieve the “dual carbon” goals.

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