Datacenter-provided home heating: economical or wasteful use of leftover energy?

Datacenter-provided home heating: economical or wasteful use of leftover energy?

The UK government is making significant investments to reach its Net Zero targets; its most recent green energy plan calls for using waste energy from data centres to heat households.

The proposal, made public by Net Zero and the Department for Energy Security, is a component of a £65 million financing package intended to support five green energy projects throughout the United Kingdom.

A total of £36 million of this cash will go towards using data centre waste energy to heat houses in the London Boroughs of Brent, Ealing, and Hammersmith and Fulham.

Using innovation to heat the country

As a result of these initiatives, Lancaster University will eventually have a completely carbon-free campus with heat pumps and an additional solar farm that will supplement an existing wind turbine to provide energy and heat.

The waste energy will be utilised to heat 10,000 additional houses and 250,000 square metres of commercial buildings; it is unknown if this energy will come from existing data centres or if it will be a component of a new infrastructure project.

Servers, internet-related infrastructure, cloud storage, and other IT solutions are frequently housed in datacenters. Data centres emit a lot of waste energy as heat as a result of the demanding tasks that their hardware performs.

In addition to this most recent funding round, 11 new heat networks have received £122 million from the Green Heat Network Fund. Using green sources to heat buildings will assist the UK fulfil its carbon reduction pledge, as heating accounts for 30% of all UK emissions.

“Keeping homes warm with waste heat from technology is a glimpse into the future – and demonstrates just how innovative this country can be when it comes to reducing our carbon emissions,” said Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance.

“We’re going to spread this success across the nation by implementing innovative low-carbon heating to help reduce energy bills and achieve our net zero goal with the £65 million that we’ve awarded today.”


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