Danfoss, Google, Microsoft, Schneider Electric Plan Green Data Centers Innovation Hub

People walking through a data center

(Credit: Danfoss)

by | Sep 29, 2023

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Danfoss, Google, Microsoft, and Schneider Electric plan to launch the Net Zero Innovation Hub for Data Centers in order to accelerate a green transition for data centers.

The four companies have been working with the Danish Data Center Industry to plan for the project’s implementation. The new Hub will be located in Frederica, Denmark, and will bring together stakeholders in the European data center industry, such as regulators, researchers, utility providers, and NGOs.

As internet usage rapidly increases worldwide, the data center industry has looked for ways to reduce its emissions with improvements in energy efficiency, cooling, and grid improvements.

In order to better collaborate on such solutions, the new Hub should allow researchers to share best practices with industry leaders and speed up energy-efficient development overall. According to Danfoss, the initial focus of the hub will be to lower or equalize emissions caused by data centers and stabilize the electric grid. Many major technology companies, such as Apple, and Meta, have already made efforts to power their data centers with renewable energy in order to decarbonize operations.

Hub Plans Projects to Target Scope 1, 2, and 3 Emissions

The Hub plans to target all three categories of emissions, with specific project goals for each category. For Scope 1 emissions, or emissions caused directly by a company, projects will explore diesel generation alternatives, other substitute fuels, and heat reuse. Projects geared towards Scope 2 emissions, or indirectly caused emissions such as those from energy sources, will aim to use carbon-free energy such as wind and solar to generate power.

Finally, Scope 3 emissions, or embodied emissions that are indirectly linked to companies, will be addressed through partnerships with academia and suppliers, researching how to decarbonize raw materials that go into building a data center, such as concrete, steel, and aluminum.

Addressing all sources of carbon emissions will ensure that Europe’s data centers are fully meeting the EU’s goal of cutting data center emissions in half by 2030 and reaching complete carbon neutrality by 2050.

“This initiative reflects the level of commitment and responsibility the data center industry is willing to take to solve the challenges ahead,” said Henrik Hansen, CEO of the Danish Data Center Industry. “The roadmap to zero-carbon data centers requires solutions beyond the industry’s capabilities to solve independently. The open-sourced approach with stakeholders, both within and outside of the industry, will significantly accelerate the industry towards net zero, aligning with EU’s ambitions for data centers by 2030.”

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