On 28 September 2023, Danfoss, Google, Microsoft and Schneider Electric – together with the Danish Data Center Industry – launched a new pan-European initiative called Net Zero Innovation Hub For Data Centers.
Located in Fredericia, Denmark, the goal is to speed up common solutions for the green transition of data centers.
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 center 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 launch of the Net Zero Innovation Hub, the Danish Data Center Industry, Danfoss, Google, Microsoft and Schneider Electric are bringing together key stakeholders in the European data center 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 equalize the data centers’ carbon emissions and contribute to the stabilization 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 organization 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 aluminum, allowing for data centers to be built more sustainably in the future.
The Danish Data Center 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.