industry wire

Use of the residual heat data center can save hundreds of kilotons of CO2 emissions

Since the Dutch data centers last year offered their residual heat 'free' to society, many new residual heat projects have been started around data centers. The sector indicates that by using this residual heat for heating houses and businesses, hundreds of kilotonnes of CO2 emissions can be prevented there, estimated at around 600 kilotonnes.

In the last six months in particular, the number of new data center residual heat projects has accelerated, and results are already being achieved in many regions in our country. At present, a majority of Dutch data centers are now actively involved in a residual heat initiative.

This is stated in the report 'Datacenter Residual Heat & Innovation 2018' published by the Dutch Data Center Association (DDA), the branch organization of data centers in the Netherlands. The report is based entirely on concrete case studies, some of which were explained during the 'Datacenter Residue Heat & Innovation 2018' conference on 10 October. The most crucial learning experiences are discussed in detail in the report, with the expectation that more will follow.

As success factors in practical cases, it is mentioned that projects are profitable, that multi-deployable heating networks are used, constructive cooperation is carried out by those involved, and that they sometimes just have to 'do'.

Government can help

The government has an important role to play in creating the right preconditions that can make these projects successful. The primary focus here is the adjustment of the new BENG scheme (almost zero-energy buildings), which will start in January 2020. In this new building code, data center waste heat is not seen as 'renewable energy', which prevents builders from using residual heat from data centers when heating new homes and offices. With the adjustment of this regulation, the reuse of data center waste heat is within reach, with which the DDA estimates that 1 million homes can be heated.

In addition, the report advises the government to quickly clarify any new regional policy regarding heat networks and any concessions therein. Clarity ensures that heating networks can be developed profitably by the market.

Positive expectations

Although there is still work to be done for all stakeholders, the DDA is much more positive about the claims for the use of data center residual heat than a year ago, when the data centers connected to the branch organization for the first time their residual heat publicly 'free' available suggested.

Among other things, the report contains a list of 15 Dutch projects where work is being done on the reuse of data center residual heat, and also describes some concrete results. The expectation of the DDA is that this list will continue to grow considerably in the coming years because of the continued growth of the sector throughout the Netherlands.

Download the report here:

About the Dutch Data Center Association

Dutch Data Center Association (DDA) is the branch organization of data centers in the Netherlands, the foundation of the digital economy. DDA connects the market-leading data centers in the Netherlands with a mission: strengthening economic growth and profiling the data center sector to government, media and society.

We express industry views on regulations and policy issues. It shows leadership by facilitating members and stimulating operational improvement in the form of 'best practices'. DDA promotes education and contributes to technical standards with which the data center industry can distinguish itself in the Netherlands and beyond.

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