Danfoss, Google, Microsoft and Schneider Electric join forces in new Innovation Hub to accelerate green transition of data centers
Danfoss, Google, Microsoft and Schneider Electric are the founders of a new innovation hub in Fredericia, Denmark, that will bring together the data center sector across Europe to find concrete solutions to accelerate the green transition. The Hub is open to other partners across Europe.
Today, Danfoss, Google, Microsoft and Schneider Electric - together with the Danish Data Center Industry - are launching 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 today’s Net Zero Innovation Hub launch, 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 utilize 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 decarbonize 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.
“This initiative reflects the level of commitment and responsibility the data center industry is willing to take to solve the challenges ahead. The roadmap to zero-carbon data centers 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 centers by 2030”, says Henrik Hansen.
The launch of the new Net Zero Innovation Hub takes place today at 2.30- 6.00 PM CEST in Fredericia.
Jürgen Fischer, President Danfoss Climate Solutions
“We want to revolutionize how we build data centers! Danfoss is already working with our customers to build decarbonized data centers, but we need to speed things up and do it in partnerships across borders and industries. That’s why Danfoss is proud to launch the Net Zero Innovation Hub For Data Centers, a neutral meeting place where key players can enter into collaboration to build better and more sustainable data centers.”
JP Clausen, VP of Engineering and Data Center Innovation
"The rapid pace of digitization, enabled by the data center industry, has many benefits to people and businesses - from rapid access to information, to increased connectivity. That development, however, also requires that the data industry as a whole sets the bar for sustainability as high as possible - and builds a bridge to the rest of society. Denmark is a green corridor to Europe and the rest of the world. That is why I am both happy and proud that we have succeeded in bringing the Innovation Hub to Fredericia."
Sean James, Sr Director of Datacenter Research
"Microsoft is excited to join this initiative with Danfoss, Google, and Schneider Electric. Our commitment is clear: as we meet customer demand and expand data center capacity, it must be done without increasing our climate footprint. We believe partnerships like this are essential to drive energy efficiency innovation and secure renewable energy sources. Leveraging our joint expertise in cloud computing, sustainable energy and cooling solutions, we aim to transform data center design and operations for a greener future.”
Mic Seremet, Product Owner, Schneider Electric Kolding
“Our grid is under pressure as we're shifting from a few centralized fossil fueled power plants to a decentralized energy landscape with a large number of renewable sources. This means we must rethink our energy landscape. We are looking very much forward to contributing to this transformation as part of the Hub, with concrete solutions, such as a technology platform that turns data centers into active decarbonization players, provides flexibility to deploy innovative energy resource technologies while accelerating data center construction to help facilitate this transformation. The NZIH aligns perfectly with our commitment to being an Impact Company, joining our forces to drive the sustainability agenda."