Danfoss, Google, Microsoft and Schneider Electric join forces

Danfoss, Google, Microsoft and Schneider Electric are the founders of a new innovation hub in Fredericia, Denmark, that will bring together the data centre sector across Europe to find concrete solutions to accelerate the green transition. The Hub is open to other partners across Europe.

Danfoss, Google, Microsoft and Schneider Electric – together with the Danish Data Centre Industry – are launching a new pan-European initiative called Net Zero Innovation Hub For Data Centres, located in Fredericia, Denmark. The goal is to speed up common solutions for the green transition of data centres.

Cloud computing plays a vital role in the digital and green transformation of society – enabling people to benefit from digital tools and businesses to work more efficiently and grow. In the past decade alone, the number of internet users has doubled – and global internet traffic has increased 25-fold, according to the IEA.

As the digital adaptation continues to grow, and to reach the net zero targets, the data centre industry is working to reduce the energy footprint in a number of areas, such as energy efficiency, cooling, the supply chain, and improvements of the grid.

With the Net Zero Innovation Hub launch, the Danish Data Centre Industry, Danfoss, Google, Microsoft and Schneider Electric are bringing together key stakeholders in the European data centre sector – including regulators, researchers, operators, utility providers, NGOs, and grid/network services.

The consortium will function as a meeting place where key players can enter into collaborations and develop new innovative solutions that can be quickly implemented for the benefit of the green transition. At the same time, it will serve as an opportunity to share best practices and guidance from leading researchers. Initially, the focus is on developing solutions that lower or equalise the data centres’ carbon emissions and contribute to the stabilisation of the electricity grid.

The Hub will be targeting projects in Scope 1, 2, and 3, which are the different kinds of greenhouse gas emissions that a company or organisation produces. More specifically, for cutting emissions (Scope 1) the Hub will look at projects for diesel generation alternatives and substitute fuels, and heat reuse. As for indirect emissions (Scope 2), the Hub will aim to better utilise carbon-free energy sources such as wind and solar for power generation. And for embodied emissions (Scope 3), the Hub will partner with suppliers and academia to research how to decarbonise raw materials like concrete, steel, and aluminium, allowing for data centres to be built more sustainably in the future.

The Danish Data Centre Industry will act as a secretariat for the initiative, and the CEO of the association, Henrik Hansen, outlines the importance of the cross-sectoral nature of the Hub.

“This initiative reflects the level of commitment and responsibility the data centre industry is willing to take to solve the challenges ahead. The roadmap to zero-carbon data centres requires solutions beyond the industry’s capabilities to solve independently. The open-sourced approach with stakeholders, both within and outside of the industry, will significantly accelerate the industry towards net zero, aligning with EU’s ambitions for data centres by 2030,” said Hansen.

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