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Europe Taps Power-Hungry Data Centers to Heat Homes


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worker examines a server system at Apple's data center in Viborg, Denmark

Apple is connecting its data center in Viborg, Denmark, to the local heat network.

Credit: Apple

Looking to provide recycled heat, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft in the past year have started connecting, or announced plans to connect, major data centers to district heating systems in Ireland, Denmark, and Finland. Similarly, Google has said it is assessing opportunities to recover heat from its data centers across Europe, while Meta Platforms has been recovering excess heat from its data center in Odense, Denmark since 2020.

Higher energy prices have boosted the financial incentive for tech companies to invest in systems necessary to sell off their excess heat. The EU, meanwhile, is in the final stages of negotiating a new directive that would require center operators to conduct feasibility studies of using their excess heat for homes and offices.

From The Wall Street Journal
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