Introduction to the Project

The project aim was to evaluate the feasibility of building data centres in remote areas in Northern Scotland, powered wholly or largely by renewable energy.


Why is this important?

Data centres use about 3% of the UK’s electricity, and demand is growing at 15% per year (1). Globally they now account for more carbon emissions than Argentina and Netherlands put together (2) and are expected to overtake aviation as a greenhouse gas emitte(1).

Remote communities in the North of Scotland have high renewable energy resources but are not always able to develop them because of constraints on exporting through the grid. Our project aims to establish whether this energy could be used to power data centres with clean energy locally, without having to wait for grid upgrades or queuing for access.

Our objectives were to:


References used in this page:

(1) Energy Cravings of the Data Explosion ENDS-415, August 2009
(2) Kaplan, J: Forrest, W; Kindler, N: Revolutionizing Data Centre Efficiency, McKinsey, July 2008