Direct Air Capture – a possible solution to emission reductions in data centres
Direct Air Capture (DAC) is one of the possible solutions for emission reductions caused by the creation of not only carbon-fuelled power but the emissions created in industry, manufacturing, and by other means.
In a recent interview on RTE Radio’s ‘Today with Claire Byrne’, Claire discussed the issue of energy consumption of data centres and the impact it may or may not be having on the grid.
Many valid points were made during the conversation that said, the facts are the facts; it was acknowledged that full decarbonisation of electricity is the ultimate goal, but that is a long way off. In the meantime, we need to look at how we can offset the effects of power generation and waste heat on the environment in terms of the emissions created. As Alan O’Reilly of Blacknight Internet Solutions Ltd clearly articulated, we need to look at solutions.
This is done by capturing CO₂ directly from the air and reducing the atmospheric concentration of CO₂. DAC relies on only using renewable energy, energy-from-waste, or other waste heat as energy sources as would be the case on a Data Centre site. Data Centres are considerable generators of heat, and it is this waste heat that our direct air capture solutions would use as the energy source for the reduction of atmospheric CO2.
It is time to appreciate that as long as we live in a digital world, there is a vital need for Data Centres globally, and it is a given that there will always be questions about how they operate. Therefore we need to look at the solutions, what we can do to improve the environmental sustainability of their operations. We also need to stop pointing the finger at this one power-hungry sector which we all contribute to in one form or another and appreciate that is just one piece of a larger picture.