Analysts say data centers are expected to consume as much as 20% of the world’s energy within a few years, making 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.
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. 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.
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 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.
Simply put, data centers consist of many data servers that process data, something that uses a lot of energy since the processing requires energy, but also because the servers must be constantly cooled to function. Energy consumption constitutes one of the largest operating costs in a data center, and a facility with lower energy consumption will thereby have less of an impact on the environment and offer lower costs — something that is extremely attractive for both data companies and their customers. Because of its low energy prices, Sweden is already an attractive country for investments in new data centers, which is why several major players — Facebook and Google among them — have chosen to establish centers in Sweden. For additional information, visit Ecodatacenter AB.