Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Information, a major Danish News Outlet, has claimed the rush to build “green” data centres in Denmark, to take advantage of Denmark’s abundant wind energy, will increase CO2 emissions.
New data centers will account for a third of the increase in electricity consumption in the future – and it may be costing the climate and the taxpayer
Facebook has confirmed the construction of a data center in Odense, and together with other companies’ data centers will account for a significant part of the increase in Denmark’s electricity consumption. It will certainly boost CO2 emissions, and taxpayers end up paying for international companies high electricity consumption, experts say
It is now official that Facebook will place a data center outside of Odense, and it will not only be visible in the island’s landscape, but also largely on the country’s total electricity bill.
Energinet.dk expects an increase in electricity consumption of approximately four Terawatt-hours (TWh) already as of 2023 as a consequence of data centers that are either approved or expected to be the – including Facebook’s data center and a previously announced Apple data center in Viborg. Energinet.dk will not say how many or what other yet unbuilt data centers in question.
“It is quite a lot. This means that the recorded CO2 emissions from Denmark will rise, as one usually calculates it because we do not have a 100 percent renewable energy target, but only 50 percent, “says Peter Birch Sørensen, chairman of the government’s independent advisory body Climate Council and professor in economics at the University of Copenhagen.
Although Facebook has announced that data center aims to use 100 percent renewable energy, so recognize the government that data centers will result in increased emissions of CO2, “because our generation is not yet fully green” equivalent energy – supply and climate minister Lars Christian Lilleholt (V) in an email to Information.
Read more (Original Danish – translated with Google Chrome): https://www.information.dk/indland/2017/01/nye-datacentre-staa-tredjedel-oeget-elforbrug-fremtiden-kan-komme-koste-klimaet-skatteyderne-dyrt
Building and maintaining green energy infrastructure is expensive for ordinary consumers. According to Wikipedia, Denmark has the most expensive electricity in Europe, an effective 31c / KWh. As Willis demonstrated in 2015, there is a strong correlation between installation of renewables and high electricity costs.
The rush to take advantage of Danish efforts to embrace green will in my opinion likely increase the pain on ordinary Danish consumers. Danes will have to choose between compromising their green energy principles, or paying even more for electricity, to fund all the new hideously expensive renewable electricity capacity which will be required to meet higher demand.
Or who knows – perhaps the joke will be on Facebook and friends – perhaps Danes will simply raise electricity charges on non-Danish data centres, to recoup the full economic cost of all that new green infrastructure.