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The UK datacentre industry is being urged to join a government-backed push to increase the global competitiveness of British businesses through the championing of energy efficient technologies.
The Data Centre Trade Association is calling on server farm owners and operators to apply for entry to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) £9.2m energy efficiency accelerator programme before it closes for good on 31 August 2018.
The programme is being delivered on the behalf of BEIS by the Carbon Trust, and aims to support technology developers, equipment suppliers and UK-based industrial companies with commercialising any newly created energy reduction technologies they have built.
Successful applicants could receive up to £1m in funding through the scheme to accelerate the development of their energy-saving innovations that must have been proven to work in the industry they have been created for.
“Successful applicants should expect to receive between 40% to 60% of required funding for their project, with [accelerator programme] contributions typically between £150,000 and £1,000,000 per project,” said the Carbon Trust. “There is scope for a small number of exceptional projects to receive more than £1,000,000.”
From a datacentre perspective, the programme is focused on uncovering innovative cooling and heat waste reduction technologies whose creators may need a helping hand in commercialising.
“This includes innovative pre-commercial cooling and/or waste heat utilisation technologies for datacentres, particularly where there may be cross-sector industrial applications,” said the DCTA in a statement.
“As the scope of the programme for datacentres is focusing on cooling and waste heat, energy efficiency measures for computing equipment – such as servers, storage devices and network equipment – are not included in the scope.”
As part of the process, participants will be encouraged to partner up with a third-party to support the ongoing development of their technologies, which will be judged on their energy saving potential, value for money and how scalable it is likely to prove to be in an industrial context.
“The intention of the programme is to help developers and industrial partners to overcome the barriers to demonstration of potentially viable projects, predominantly through the provision of funding,” the Carbon Trust added.
Read more about datacentre sustainability
- Catalyst Consortium is creating a green energy special interest group to work out how best to encourage Europe’s datacentre operators to reuse their waste heat and reduce the impact of their activities on local energy grids.
- As concerns about how the proliferation of datacentres will affect electricity supplies continue to be raised, some are experimenting with natural gas as an alternative energy source. But is it a viable, long-term solution?