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SDIA applauds EU-led push to make datacentres reuse waste heat and report environmental data

The European Parliament and European Council have finalised the text of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), which will see datacentre operators in member states forced to publicly disclose more environmental data and pressured to reuse their site's waste heat

The Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance (SDIA) has welcomed the final version of the European Parliament’s Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), which will put the onus on larger European datacentre operators to publicly report their environmental performance data.

The European Parliament and European Council reached a provisional political agreement that finalised the contents of the EED in March 2023, which the SDIA has publicly declared as a “significant win” because of how closely it aligns with the Alliance’s own green infrastructure agenda.

The SDIA is an alliance of stakeholders, focused on ensuring the datacentre industry’s continued growth does not come at the expense of the environment while championing the use of open and accessible technologies to power the infrastructure inside these facilities.

“The final version of the directive is a significant win for the SDIA, as it includes many aspects that the SDIA has advocated for that are urgently needed to progress the SDIA Roadmap towards a sustainable digital infrastructure by 2030,” the organisation said in a statement.

“This new directive is a major milestone, and we look forward to supporting the implementation of the EED into law within each member state.”

As detailed in the full text of the EED,  datacentre operators whose facilities exceed 500kW of power will need to go public with their environmental performance data at least once a year, with the first reporting deadline falling on 15 May 2024. All operators with sites in EU member states that meet the 500kW criteria will need to comply with the directive.

The reported data must include details of the energy their sites consume,  as well as information pertaining to their power utilisation, site temperatures and renewable energy usage.

The European Commission will, in turn, create a database of European datacentres that will contain of all of this information, which will be used to update the contents of the EED by 15 May 2025.

“This will likely include suggestions on setting minimum performance standards, as well as a roadmap towards net-zero emission datacentres,” said the SDIA in its summary of the EED.

“The metrics and indicators that datacentres will have to share are still subject to change and are currently with the commission. The SDIA is part of the process of shaping these metrics. However, even the current version is a big step forward in terms of transparency.” 

Furthermore, datacentres with a total rated energy input of more than 1 MW will have to implement measures that will enable them to reuse the heat generated by their facilities or provide evidence as to why it is not technically or financially feasible for them to do so.

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