In the latest of our DCD>Talks recorded live at DCD>Connect Virginia, USA, we met up with Seyed Madaeni, co-founder and CEO of Verse, a company with a mission to make the transition to green energy easier for companies. Gabriella Gillet Perez is your host, quizzing Madaeni on the future of green energy in data centers.

Madaeni points to the seachange in possibilities brought about by the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) to the data center market, and how it can act as an inflection point for the discussion on clean energy:

“I've been in the world of electricity markets for 15 years, I'm learning – so if I put myself in other peoples’ shoes, where your primary business is to sell coffee, run a transportation hub, or build a data center, you're not going to be a power market expert. And believe me, it is hard and it's complicated, and it is wonky."

“What we're trying to do is demystify that you don't need to be an expert in electricity, market dynamics, power procurement, risk management, energy transactions, and regulatory frameworks. To date, a lot of great consulting work has been done, and I applaud our colleagues in the consulting industry, but it's now about time that tech comes in.

"We have a breakthrough in that a lot of the buzz around AI can be used for this purpose, so we make sure that we demystify this for you in a very user-friendly way.”

We ask if there is much interest in decarbonizing electricity in the sector, or if companies are being dragged kicking and screaming through regulation: “We're seeing a lot of passion and enthusiasm across industries that are spending more than 20-30 percent of their revenue on electricity costs, and that is because it's a problem.

“When you have that amount of cost when it comes to running your business, you want to think outside the box, you want to hedge your risk, and you want to make sure you have stable prices when it comes to electricity consumption.

"But if you want to decarbonize as well, I applaud this industry for being forward-thinkers, not just talk – but there's also a lot of talk around. Net-zero sustainability, Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3, which is a testament to how the data center industry is thinking about decarbonization.”

But Madaeni is keen to point out that although regulation is there as a stick, the industry should be producing its own carrots:

“There are a lot of different task forces here in the United States in Europe which are driving businesses towards more environmental leadership, which is great. But in my view, nothing scales with regulatory pressure, things scale because there's a problem and there's a need.

“The problem that a lot of folks in different industries are facing is volatile electricity prices, unpredictability, and a big mess that they're creating, which is global greenhouse gas emissions. About a quarter of global GDP is coming from the electricity sector.

"Most of it is coming from commercial industrial facilities. So again, this market is primarily voluntarily based, we see a lot of activity from organizations taking the leadership to make a change, which again, we applaud, and we love it. But it's also a financial instrument that people are praising, and valuing and kind of putting into good work.”

The advice for companies looking to start the journey is simple – start with the destination: “The first step that you need to make is to make sure you have a clear understanding of what your goals are, and then actually look at options. A lot of the time demystifying these clean power procurements is not just contracting renewable assets, you might be working with a European utility to look at green tariff options. There are plenty of instruments to look at.”

Learn more about Verse’s road to green power by listening to the whole DCD>Talk here.