Carbon-Neutral Data Centers are on top of everyone's minds as our 2030 climate goals are coming closer. The European Union has already published an agenda, setting the clear target of data centers to become emission-free in the same time. Many unsolved challenges still remain, especially on heat recovery and backup generation.
To show-case that a carbon-neutral data center is already possible today Vattenfall and Cloud&Heat Technologies have partnered to build a 500 kW pilot data center, near Stockholm. The pilot is co-located with a local Biomass power plant and is designed based on the SDIA Combined-Heat-and-Compute concept. With this project they demonstrate the natural symbiosis between energy utilities and data center operators:
- using on-site power plant as primary power source, and the grid as the secondary backup
- utilizing liquid-cooling and injecting it into the district heating network
- existing space in favorable location, utilizing excess space, fiber and benefitting from direct-power off-take
This project demonstrates key aspects of the SDIA's roadmap - using renewable energy directly at the source, utilizing > 85% of the recovered heat and a deep integration into the overall energy system.
"We think the utilities will in future be the new cloud providers," Nicolas Röhr, CEO of Cloud&Heat, told DCD. "They will be the biggest and smartest competitors to Google, Amazon and Microsoft. They have everything, they have power and heat reuse, they often have fiber networks, they have facilities and they have customers."
„Where we definitely see potential is in data centers. There is a large amount of waste heat that remains unused in many places today. We want to change that.“ - Tuomo Hatakka, Head of Vattenfall Germany