With data centers expected to consume as much as 20 percent of the world’s energy within only a few years, the deployment of energy efficient data centers is crucial. Swedish developer of climate-positive data centers EcoDataCenter has taken a global lead in this segment and is now launching the first carbon positive data center in the world, in Falun in central Sweden.
Increased digitalization will lead to data processing at data centers using one-fifth of the world’s total energy production as early as 2025, as calculations from several researchers and experts show. Since fossil fuel sources are responsible for two-thirds of the world’s production of electricity, data centers risk becoming one of the largest sources of carbon dioxide emissions.
Sweden’s EcoDataCenter, a provider of colocation data center solutions, is now ready to give the central Swedich city of Falun the world’s first climate-positive data center. After four years of development efforts, EcoDataCenter has managed to create a data center that is integrated with the surrounding energy ecosystem to reuse the heat generated and create the world’s first climate positive data center; Being climate positive means that not only are there no carbon emissions, but that during operation it even promotes the reduction of total carbon emissions.
Great interest from around the world
Carbon-positive operation is achieved through green electricity and using the surplus heat from the center in Falu Energi och Vatten’s local district heating networks and a wood pellet factory. During the warmer months, the surplus energy in the district heating network is used for cooling the data center. The facility will have a total capacity of 1.9 mW and will be put into operation in the autumn of 2018.
“The technical design of the data center will be a crucial issue going forward, since it has a tremendous impact on both environment and costs, and we see a very large market for our technology,” said Lars Schedin, CEO of EcoDataCenter.
The steadily increasing need for processing data in the wake of 5G, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence are what lie behind the expected rise in the energy consumption of data centers. According to Gartner, a leading Internet analyst, there will be more than 20 billion connected objects by 2020, a figure that in the opinion of some commentators could increase to a full 100 billion as early as 2025.
Digital habits impact the environment
Most of us, however, are likely unaware of the fact that our daily digital habits have a serious impact on the environment, according to Lars Schedin, CEO of EcoDataCenter.
“Naturally, one person watching a video on the Internet has a marginal impact, but when several million do it several times, the total energy consumption is very large — something most of us barely think about,” says Lars, citing the example of the video for the megahit “Despacito,” which has now been shown more than 5 billion times on YouTube.
“This means that viewing this video alone has consumed energy equivalent to an estimated 850 GWh. If we start from the fact that it has been viewed around the globe, it is reasonable to assume that this in turn has involved emissions of approximately 360,000 tons of carbon dioxide — as much as 220,000 taxis release in an entire year.”