Home heating from datacentres – good use of waste energy or a waste of money?
The UK government is investing heavily in its drive to meet its Net Zero commitments, with its latest green energy plan to heat homes with waste energy from data centres.
The planannounced by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, comes as part of a £65 million funding package aimed at funding five green energy projects across the UK.
£36 million of this funding will be aimed at providing heating for homes in the London boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, Brent and Ealing using waste energy from data centres.
Innovation to warm the nation
As part of these projects, Lancaster University will eventually have a completely carbon-free campus with heat pumps, a new solar farm that will contribute to both heating and electricity in addition to an existing wind turbine.
It is not known whether the waste energy will be provided by existing data centers or whether these will be part of a new infrastructure project, but the energy will be used to heat 10,000 new homes and 250,000 m2 of commercial buildings.
Data centers often house servers, data storage and infrastructure related to the Internet, cloud storage and other IT solutions. Due to the intensive tasks performed by the hardware within them, data centers release a large amount of waste energy through heat.
This latest round of funding is accompanied by a further £122 million awarded to 11 new heat networks under the Green Heat Network Fund. With heating in Britain responsible for 30% of all UK emissions, using green sources to heat buildings will help Britain meet its carbon reduction commitment.
Lord Callanan, Secretary of State for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, said: “Keeping homes warm with waste heat from technology is a glimpse into the future – and shows how innovative this country can be when it comes to reducing our carbon emissions.
“The £65 million we awarded today will help spread this success across the country, rolling out innovative low-carbon heating to help reduce energy bills and reach our net zero target.”
Through The register