Europe wants more cities to use data center waste heating

Read the full story at Techradar.

The EU – and Germany in particular – has caused some consternation in the data center industry with plans to reduce the continent’s environmental impact.

The union has set renewable energy targets across numerous industries to be achieved by 2035, which includes making the heating and cooling sectors carbon neutral by reusing waste heat from data centers to keep cities warm.

Germany wants to go a step further by introducing targets for energy reuse, and whilst data center firms are happy for their byproduct to be recycled, they are worried that it will place a financial burden upon them to achieve. 

The real-world costs of the digital race for bitcoin

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Bitcoin mines cash in on electricity — by devouring it, selling it, even turning it off — and they cause immense pollution. In many cases, the public pays a price.

Computer scientists say seagull algorithms could hide the secret to greener cloud computing

Read the full story from Fast Company.

We have engineered materials that are sturdier than ever, modeled after the oozing networks of the humble slime mold. And locomotive robots, propelled by the squishing trudge motions of an earthworm. And symmetric algorithms, which mimic the way shapes like snowflakes and sunflowers bloom spontaneously.

Now, a team of researchers from the United Kingdom, China, and Austria are looking to use the habits of seagulls to build better cloud computing systems.In a paper published in Internet of Things and Cyber-Physical Systems, a journal from KeAi, which was founded in a partnership between Elsevier and China Science Publishing & Media, the researchers argue that using a “seagull optimization algorithm”—a so-called meta-heuristic algorithm that mimics the hunting and migration behavior of seagulls—can make cloud computing more energy efficient, cutting its power consumption by 5.5% and lightening its network traffic by 70%.

Could you power your data center with green hydrogen?

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Can green hydrogen be the key to more sustainable data center infrastructure? Startup ECL thinks so.

ECL raises $7 million to build zero emissions, green-hydrogen powered data center

Read the full story at ESG Today.

Modular data center developer and operator ECL announced today it has raised $7 million in seed funding, with proceeds aimed at supporting the delivery of its first built-to-suit, modular data center with fully-renewable 1MW power and zero emissions.

ECL, founded by data center veterans from companies including Facebook, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Cisco, HPE and Bloom Energy, aims to develop fully green data centers using disruptive engineering, design and emerging technologies, including power management and cooling innovations, and using off-grid power sources. The company’s data center design consumes no local resources, including power or water, and operates with zero emissions at extremely low noise levels.

The company said that its new data center will be the world’s first fully green, off-grid data center, using green hydrogen as its primary power source.

Biden administration acknowledges it can force Bitcoin mines to disclose pollution

Read the full story at The Verge.

Federal agencies have the authority to force crypto mining companies to divulge how much energy they use and greenhouse gas emissions they create, according to letters between the agencies and Democratic lawmakers shared exclusively with The Verge.

Bitcoin miners have flocked to the US over the past couple years, triggering concerns about electricity usage and greenhouse gas emissions. Despite the proliferation of crypto mines across the US, there hasn’t been solid data on what impact they each have on the power grid and national climate goals.

That could soon change as Democratic lawmakers pressure federal agencies to speed up plans to require crypto mining companies to report their emissions and energy consumption. That kind of transparency is an early, crucial step toward reining in pollution from crypto mines.

Google’s water use is soaring in The Dalles, records show, with two more data centers to come

Read the full story from the Oregonian.

Google’s water use in The Dalles has nearly tripled in the past five years, and the company’s data centers now consume more than a quarter of all the water used in the city.

That’s according to records released this week after the city settled a lawsuit against The Oregonian/OregonLive and agreed to hand over data on Google’s water consumption. The company’s water use is poised to continue soaring in the years ahead, as Google has plans for two more data centers along the Columbia River.

Consumers expect tech to drive sustainability innovation

Read the full story at Morning Consult.

The technology industry is benefiting from a halo effect when it comes to sustainability.

Over the past few years, nearly every major technology company has announced sustainability goals, ranging from electrifying delivery fleets to eliminating plastics in product packaging to achieving carbon neutrality by target dates. Inc., for example, in 2019 co-founded The Climate Pledge, a commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2040. A few months later, Microsoft Corp. announced it was aiming to be carbon negative by 2030. Six months after that, Apple Inc. committed to going 100% carbon neutral by the same year — and then Google announced plans to run on carbon-free energy by 2030. 

But tech is not unique in these ambitious climate targets. Industry leaders across sectors have made similar commitments. Morning Consult research shows that what makes tech’s position unique is that consumers are more likely to view it as part of the solution than the problem when it comes to sustainability, albeit with somewhat higher expectations to drive innovation in this space and to deliver on promises.

How to shrink AI’s ballooning carbon footprint

Read the full story in Nature.

As machine-learning experiments get more sophisticated, their carbon footprints are ballooning. Now, researchers have calculated the carbon cost of training a range of models at cloud-computing data centres in various locations. Their findings could help researchers to reduce the emissions created by work that relies on artificial intelligence (AI).

IT Efficiency: The Critical Core of Digital Sustainability

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A digital sustainability strategy should incorporate both the facilities and IT operations, even for colocation operators. This report covers strategies, software tools and metrics that can help drive up IT efficiency.