In cooperation with '13 climate partnerships', the Danish government published six sectoral roadmaps that point to future areas for action in the green transition. One of the sectors being 'service, IT & consulting'. Data centers are mentioned in the roadmap, but - remarkably - only in relation to the re-use of excess heat.
Data center re-use of waste heat
The press release states: "The sector roadmaps show that both the business community and the government have taken significant steps in the green transition", but the roadmap is not very detailed if it comes to the environmental impact of data centers: "The Climate Partnership has recommended a number measures to promote the utilization of surplus heat from e.g. data centers. One has been entered into political agreement, which per. January 1, 2021 implies that the tax on electric surplus heat lapses and the surplus heat tax is removed, if the excess heat is certified. At the same time, the actors in the Climate Partnership have focus on the possibilities of using surplus heat in collaboration with companies and authorities at workshops and conferences".
The document concludes: "There is still work to be done to make it attractive and financially sustainable to invest in the facilities that ensure utilization of excess heat, furthermore many district heating companies still hesitate to receive the surplus heat from data centers, so there's still a lot of work to do in terms of using surplus heat from data centers".
Flashback to 2019: introducing the 13 climate partnerships
In a press release in 2019 Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen is quoted saying: “the Danish business community has a central role in the green transition and with the climate partnerships, the government wants to work closely with the business community on how to contribute to solving the climate challenges.”
“We must solve the climate challenge together. In respect of our unique, strong, Danish model of society. Every part of our society must contribute to achieve the government’s ambitious climate goals. I know that people with different interests can find common solutions if they want and if they come together. This is the public spirit demonstrated by companies and organisations every single day. They take responsibility for the community they are part of. I am pleased and proud of the 13 climate partnerships we present, each with strong, competent business leaders at the head of the table. Together we can show the world that Denmark is both green, competitive and solidary. ”
'Government will present proposals in 2022'
The Danish people might have to wait a little longer before the government presents a vision on the future of the Danish data center industry. Minister of Climate, Energy and Supply Dan Jørgensen. “The climate partnerships are a good example of the strong, green cooperation that exists between the business community and the government. The partnerships help to support the green transition and create opportunities for new, green growth adventures. The six new sector roadmaps (one of them being on the IT sector, ed.) show that both the business community and the government have taken significant steps in the green transition, but we still need the business community's support to reach the goal of 70 per cent. the goal in 2030. The government will therefore in 2022 present proposals on how the partnerships can continue to contribute to the green transformation of Denmark"
Just two weeks ago the Danish governmen went even further by declaring it wanted to reduce emissions by 70% already in 2025. It is hard to see how the 'sector roadmaps' can contribute to this ambition. Download the roadmap here (in Danish)