DigiPlex is one of the biggest names for datacentre operations across the Nordic region, with five sites across Norway, Sweden and Denmark. They are pioneers in this industry in regards to renewable and sustainable technologies, powering their centres with hydroelectric and wind power.
Reinforcing this role as a leader in renewable resource developments, DigiPlex have partnered with Norwegian heating supplier Fortum Oslo Varme to use waste heat generated from their datacentre to warm approximately 5,000 homes.
Worldwide, datacentres account for 2 percent of all CO2 emissions
DigiPlex has five datacentres; one in Stockholm, one in Copenhagen and the remaining three in Oslo. These Scandinavian locations are at the forefront of renewable power, with all three countries in the top four of the World Economic Forum’s EAPI ranking. This is a considerable difference to the United Kingdom in 15th position, and much more than the United States at rank 52.
Pollution from digital technologies is often overlooked as the effects are not so obvious. A lot of pollutants are released into the atmosphere through the production of electricity used to power and cool datacentres. So much so, that worldwide, datacentres account for 2 percent of all CO2 emissions, and around 3% of the total power consumption. This is one of the factors that DigiPlex are pioneering new technologies to cut down their environmental footprint.
The World Economic Forum’s Energy Architecture Performance Index
Top 10 Rankings 2017:
Waste heat, which would otherwise be released into the atmosphere, will be collected and distributed through Fortum’s intricate network of pipelines to provide warmth to around 5,000 apartments in the Ulven district of greater Oslo. Plans for increased capacity at the site will also provide a greater contribution to this heating project.
Fortum Oslo Varme is already recovering energy from the sewage of Oslo, working to strengthen Oslo’s cycle-based energy system. The city has been awarded the first GreenLux Award for most environmentally international city.
All of the company’s data centres are powered exclusively by renewable sources – Hydropower plants in Norway as well as wind power in Sweden. They also use rainwater to cool the internal systems – water collects in a pond and is drawn through pipes throughout the building to cool the electronic equipment within.
Enough storage for around 5 million movies
This isn’t the only datacentre project to be making use of renewable energies. Verne Global is using geothermal energy in Iceland to power its datacentre, and Microsoft has recently launched a datacentre into the North Sea, powered by a combination of solar, wind, wave and tidal energy. Microsoft’s Project Natick holds 864 standard Microsoft datacentre servers with 27.6 petabytes of disk. Therefore, this datacentre is operating machinery as powerful as several thousand consumer PCs 100 feet beneath the surface of the North Sea. It holds enough storage for around 5 million movies – over 12,5000 times more than Disney have ever made.
The need for sustainable technologies is becoming more apparent as fossil fuels supplies are depleting, and the datacentre sector seem to be working hard around the world to reduce their impact on the environment.