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The cities that are heated by recycled heat from Data Centres

Charlotte Clarke our consultant managing the role
Published on 29 June 2023

In the age of rapid technological advancements, data centers have become the backbone of our digital society. These power-hungry facilities consume massive amounts of electricity, resulting in significant heat generation. Traditionally, this excess heat has been considered a waste product, often requiring complex cooling systems to dissipate. However, forward-thinking cities are now capitalising on this untapped resource by repurposing the heat generated by data centers to warm their urban landscapes. In this blog post, we will explore the innovative cities that are embracing this concept and reaping the benefits of recycled heat.


Stockholm, Sweden: The District Heating Pioneer

Stockholm, known for its sustainability initiatives, leads the way in utilising waste heat from data centers. The city's district heating system, which supplies warm water to buildings for heating and hot water purposes, is a key component in their approach. By integrating the excess heat generated by data centres like Stockholm Data Parks, into this system, Stockholm significantly reduces its dependence on fossil fuel-based heating sources. The innovative approach not only decreases the city's carbon footprint but also lowers energy costs for residents and businesses.


Helsinki, Finland: A Model of Efficiency

Helsinki, another Scandinavian city known for its commitment to sustainability, has embraced the concept of utilising data centre heat. The city leverages the excess heat generated by data centers to warm thousands of homes and office buildings. Helsinki's success lies in its efficient heat distribution system, which allows the captured heat to be transported to areas in need via an extensive network of insulated pipes. By reducing the reliance on traditional heating methods, the city achieves remarkable energy savings while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


Montreal, Canada: Harnessing the Power of Data Centre Heat

In Montreal, data centre operators such as the Eco2Datacenter, have partnered with local utility companies to utilise the heat generated by these facilities. By capturing and redistributing the excess heat, the city has established an effective method of reducing energy waste and greenhouse gas emissions. The heat generated by data centers is used to warm neighbouring buildings, including residential complexes, offices, and even a greenhouse. Montreal's approach not only provides an eco-friendly heating solution but also contributes to the local economy by fostering partnerships between data centre operators and the community.


London, United Kingdom: Pioneering Sustainable Urban Development

London, a global hub for finance and technology, has recognised the potential of repurposing data centre heat for sustainable urban development. The city's progressive initiatives involve integrating waste heat from data centers into heating networks, powering homes, businesses, and public facilities. By incorporating innovative infrastructure designs and collaborative partnerships, London aims to reduce its carbon emissions and build a resilient and sustainable city for its residents. 

Check out our article on how to become a data centre design manager.

The cities that are heated by recycled heat from data centers represent a remarkable synergy between technology and sustainability. By harnessing the excess heat generated by data centers, these cities reduce their environmental impact, enhance energy efficiency, and create greener and more cost-effective urban environments. The innovative initiatives undertaken by Stockholm, Helsinki, Montreal, London, and other pioneering cities demonstrate the potential for data centre heat to be repurposed as a valuable resource. As we continue to advance technologically, it is inspiring to witness how cities are embracing creative solutions that benefit both their residents and the planet.


Data Centre careers

If you are looking for your next career move within the data centre industry, Quanta can help. Our Data Centre recruitment team are experts in the field, keeping up to date with the latest in the industry as well as placing candidates into their dream roles across projects spanning the UK, Europe and US. Get in touch with us today or check out our latest data centre jobs here. Also, check out our article on cloud computing and data centres.