Our world runs on data. But data centers can give off a whole lot of power – and carbon emissions.

And as the demand for data center capacity grows, so have the associated carbon emissions. Luckily there are tools that can help companies manage, interpret and monitor their data center power output.

And this capability has never been more important than now – as there are government regulations to adhere to (if you want to avoid fines).

Public awareness has been growing about the carbon output of data centers, and Europe has led the charge on regulations – forcing the movement onto the global stage.

The DataCenterDynamics Research Group just published a survey called, “The Carbon Reduction Commitment – The Drivers Behind the Scheme and How the Changes Will Affect You.” The piece touches upon general data center operations and how they are going to be impacted by these newer, greener initiatives.

The survey, which focused on 80 U.K.-based data center operators, had emissions in mind. U.K.-based data centers emit two percent of the total amount of greenhouse gas present in the U.K. each year, while using 6,000MWH of power.

But with the public now considering the importance of data center power emissions, data center operators find themselves under constant scrutiny. Europe, as I mentioned earlier, has been rather forceful with this initiative – operators now have to now pay a direct tax on energy consumption at £10 to £15 per tonne of CO2 allowances and one tonne of CO2 equating to roughly 500kWh of grid electricity which will raise the price of energy by about ten percent.

But these regulations, while they may help save the environment and forward the public’s interest, may have damaging effects on business. Thirty-three percent of those interviewed in the survey believe that these initiatives will force data center operators offshore – or overseas.

And on a side note, eighty-three percent were concerned about the increasing costs of carbon allowance purchases.

And 81 percent were nervous about the associated taxes.