February 26, 2015
Falu Energi & Vatten, in collaboration with EcoDC AB, has announced that EcoDataCenter, the world’s first climate positive data centre, is being built in Falun, Sweden. Schneider Electric will supply energy efficient systems and products to the project, which the firms said will be among the 13 safest data centres in the world.
The organizations added that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is emerging as a new market for energy efficiency systems.
“The ICT sector alone consumes up to 10% of the world’s electricity, reflecting the growing cost of powering the data centres that are the global backbone of the Internet and cloud computing. A single data centre can easily use more electricity than a mid-sized town, but a large part of this energy is never used and is instead released as heat into the atmosphere.
According to several reports, the combined carbon dioxide emissions from the more than three million data centres globally are expected to exceed the emissions from the entire airline industry in only five years.
“This development implies an increased need for energy, which also affects the environment to a great extent. It is also a cost-driver, which requires a new way of thinking,” said Børge Granli, one of the founders of EcoDC AB.
EcoDataCenter in Falun will be connected to the local energy system, which received a Global District Energy Climate Award in 2013 for being one of the world’s best.
The excess heat from servers and information technology (IT) equipment will warm buildings in Falun through the district’s heating system. In the summer, excess steam from the local electricity plant will run the machines cooling the data centre.
“The collaboration between the data centre and the district’s heating system will ensure that emissions are reduced to the extent that EcoDataCenter will have a negative carbon dioxide footprint annually,” said Bengt Gustafsson, CEO of Falu Energi & Vatten. “We are connecting the data centre to an already sustainable energy system to make use of all the energy. In this way, we are building the very first climate positive data centre in the world.”
The electricity powering the data centre comes solely from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and water, as well as secondary biofuels.
EcoDataCenter is being built to meet Uptime Institute’s Tier IV™ certification, the highest standard of availability in the world and a designation only 12 other data centres globally have achieved.
“We live in an age when more and more people are concerned about the global data centre industry’s environmental effects. Internet penetration and the Internet of Things don’t have to happen at the expense of the climate,” said Marc Nezet, country manager, Schneider Electric Sweden. “IT security and performance is also increasingly critical for companies and organizations.”