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University of Edinburgh Using Data Centre Heat to Drive Decarbonisation

In an effort to drive sustainability, the University of Edinburgh King’s Buildings campus will improve its energy consumption pattern. 

The project involves implementing a heat recovery pump to capture waste heat from the data centre and channel it into the local district heating network, significantly reducing the campus’s carbon footprint.

It was made possible by a nearly £2.1 million grant from the Scottish Government’s Public Sector Heat Decarbonisation Fund, as well as £520,000 in university funding. 

Data processing is notoriously energy intensive, which leads to substantial heat production. By repurposing heat from the university’s data centre, it not only addresses environmental concerns but also maximises the efficiency of its infrastructure. 

The grant will also facilitate upgrades in roof and pipework insulation across various university buildings for further energy conservation efforts.

This initiative aligns with Scotland’s broader commitment to decarbonise public sector operations, with a £20m injection into clean heating and energy efficiency projects, £11m of which was funnelled directly into public sector bodies. 

At the university level, Edinburgh pledged to achieve zero carbon status by 2040. To fulfil this commitment, the university is deploying a multifaceted approach encompassing energy-efficient technologies, strategic investments, and collaborative partnerships. 

Since 2016, Edinburgh has taken on 140 energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, collectively projected to reduce emissions by 400 tonnes of CO₂e. 

Catherine Martin, vice principal corporate services at the University of Edinburgh, emphasised the institution’s unwavering dedication to climate action and its proactive stance towards achieving net-zero status.

“The climate crisis is one of the greatest challenges we face. The University of Edinburgh has a clear commitment to take positive action to address our impact on the climate and ultimately reach our institutional goal of being net zero by 2040,” stated Martin. 

“We need a coordinated approach to these activities, and the funding from the Scottish Government will support our efforts to generate solutions and sustainably adapt the way we operate.”

Source: DIGIT

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