Powerhouses unite to accelerate green transition of data centres

Danfoss, Google, Microsoft and Schneider Electric, together with the Danish Data Centre Industry are launching a new pan-European initiative called Net Zero Innovation Hub For Data Centres, located in Fredericia, Denmark to speed up common solutions for the green transition of data centres.

The consortium will function as a meeting place where key players can enter into collaborations and develop new innovative solutions that can be quickly implemented for the benefit of the green transition. It will also serve as an opportunity to share best practises and guidance from leading researchers. Initially, the focus is on developing solutions that lower or equalise the data centers’ carbon emissions and contribute to the stabilisation of the electricity grid.

The Hub will be targeting projects in Scope 1, 2, and 3, which are the different kinds of greenhouse gas emissions that a company or organisation produces. More specifically, for cutting emissions (Scope 1) the Hub will look at projects for diesel generation alternatives and substitute fuels, and heat reuse. As for indirect emissions (Scope 2), the Hub will aim to better utilise carbon-free energy sources such as wind and solar for power generation. And for embodied emissions (Scope 3), the Hub will partner with suppliers and academia to research how to decarbonise raw materials like concrete, steel, and aluminium, allowing for data centres to be built more sustainably in the future.

“This initiative reflects the level of commitment and responsibility the data centre industry is willing to take to solve the challenges ahead. The roadmap to zero-carbon data centres 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 centres by 2030,” said Henrik Hansen, CEO of the association.

Danfoss Climate Solutions president Jürgen Fischer added: “We want to revolutionise how we build data centres. Danfoss is already working with our customers to build decarbonised data centres, but we need to speed things up and do it in partnerships across borders and industries.

“That’s why Danfoss is proud to launch the Net Zero Innovation Hub For Data Centres, a neutral meeting place where key players can enter into collaboration to build better and more sustainable data centres.”

JP Clausen, VP of Engineering and Data Centre Innovation said: “The rapid pace of digitisation, enabled by the data centre industry, has many benefits to people and businesses – from rapid access to information, to increased connectivity. That development, however, also requires that the data industry as a whole sets the bar for sustainability as high as possible – and builds a bridge to the rest of society. Denmark is a green corridor to Europe and the rest of the world. That is why I am both happy and proud that we have succeeded in bringing the Innovation Hub to Fredericia.”

Sean James, Sr Director of Datacenter Research stated: “Microsoft is excited to join this initiative with Danfoss, Google, and Schneider Electric. Our commitment is clear: as we meet customer demand and expand data centre capacity, it must be done without increasing our climate footprint. We believe partnerships like this are essential to drive energy efficiency innovation and secure renewable energy sources. Leveraging our joint expertise in cloud computing, sustainable energy and cooling solutions, we aim to transform data centre design and operations for a greener future.”

Mic Seremet, Product Owner, Schneider Electric Kolding adds: “Our grid is under pressure as we’re shifting from a few centralised fossil fuelled power plants to a decentralised energy landscape with a large number of renewable sources. This means we must rethink our energy landscape. We are looking very much forward to contributing to this transformation as part of the Hub, with concrete solutions, such as a technology platform that turns data centres into active decarbonisation players, provides flexibility to deploy innovative energy resource technologies while accelerating data centre construction to help facilitate this transformation. The NZIH aligns perfectly with our commitment to being an Impact Company, joining our forces to drive the sustainability agenda.”

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