Jeff Barber is the VP of global data centers for Bloom Energy. In this role, he is dedicated to empowering data center developers, tenants, and operators to take control of all their data center power requirements with greener, more reliable, more resilient, and more predictable on-site fuel cells from Bloom Energy.
What technology breakthrough would pave the way for the ICT industry?
Reliable and sustainable energy to deliver the power needed to enable high-capacity data centers required by today’s hyperscalers and data center operators. Recently, we have seen how power constraints in areas where data centers are concentrated can become a concern for local utilities attempting to support those facilities. Modern energy solutions with little or no carbon emissions impact would be ideal to help sustain and scale data center development and create a future-proof environment for data center capacity needs.
How can corporations and researchers best serve the next generation?
The best way to serve the next generation is to work to reduce our industry’s carbon footprint. Corporations and researchers can and should work hand in hand to find new ways to power the digital infrastructure space. Bloom Energy has been at the forefront of the energy sector since its inception and has been working on offering alternatives to centralized energy generation and delivery for nearly two decades. We believe in the power of flexible and modular solutions that can be customized to the needs of our customers.
We believe distributed solutions and microgrids will support an ever-wider variety of newly electrified processes in the years to come. Additionally, we recognize that the need for immediate and ambitious climate action from the energy sector will accelerate transformation, with a focus on zero-carbon and renewable solutions.
As the world moves toward decarbonization, our technology is ready to meet the requirements of our customers in alignment with a transformed energy sector.
Is it important for companies to continue to innovate their organization or offerings, and why?
It is extremely important to continuously innovate. Especially in terms of power consumption, which is the elephant in the room for our industry. Innovation is more than just a catchphrase when it comes to energy transition – it is essential to it. Extreme weather continues to be the number one cause of power outages in the United States. Each time the grid goes down, economic output, wages, inventory, production, and the grid’s infrastructure itself take a hit, resulting in billions of dollars lost and production delays for businesses.
There’s an urgent need for businesses to implement an energy strategy alongside a business strategy to weather-proof their operations – an energy strategy that includes resiliency against unpredictable weather as well as a viable path to lowering carbon emissions.
What would you share with those interested in becoming a PTC Member?
The PTC ecosystem is second to none. This community is welcoming, inspiring, and collaborative. PTC also serves to raise up a diverse group of those who will follow in our footsteps, including women, young people, and a diverse group of trailblazers that are coming right behind us.
What important piece of information should people know about PTC?
Being a PTC Member has its privileges. We are privileged to be among the best and brightest in our space that are continuously striving to improve our ICT industry.
What advice would you share with current and future graduates interested in this field?
There is much more to information technology than engineering and coding. Learn about the multitude of opportunities available in every career path with a focus on ICT. Learn about technology governance, as it becomes increasingly important to determine the impact and consequences of our industry on society, including areas of ethics, regulations, and law.
What industry mogul or up-and-coming leader have you followed or are currently following, and why?
I am keenly listening to and following Dean Nelson, a long-time infrastructure executive and industry contributor. Dean is a visionary in our industry. Dean is always innovating, always engaging the best and brightest in our space to come up with solutions that not only move our industry forward but are in the best interest of our world while keeping the equation a win-win for all involved. Dean founded iMasons, originally to provide infrastructure executives and technical professionals with an independent forum to connect, grow, and give back. Now, he’s charging that group with solving the issue of our time: how will we continue to thrive as a society while reducing our impact on the planet? With this question in mind, he launched his most recent initiative, the iMasons Climate Accord (ICA). The ICA is a movement that helps hold our digital infrastructure industry accountable as they innovate and scale to keep up with constantly advancing technology that exists to bring a global community closer together.
What is something that not that many people know about you?
While my day job is focused on alternative power solutions, on the weekends, I turn into a “power” woodworker. I have been known to create pretty spectacular cornhole boards for friends and family.
About Bloom Energy
The future of data center energy begins with Bloom Energy’s modern, scalable energy solution. Transforming how data centers responsibly take charge of their energy and sustainability initiatives, Bloom delivers to your site in months, not years, with dedicated, resilient, predictable, and sustainable power solutions. Its Microgrid Platform enables data center operators to maximize uptime, lower emissions, and control costs. On your path to a net-zero future, Bloom is the answer to today’s data center power and sustainability roadblocks. To learn more about Bloom Energy for data centers and the company’s commitment to a net-zero future, visit www.bloomenergy.com.