Parts of Africa may be able to look forward to a new approach to energy efficiency that could also benefit data centre rollout. This comes in the wake of an announcement from a company that aims to create a sustainable bridge between excess energy and the power needs of the high-performance computing industry.
Earth Wind & Power (EW&P), a Norwegian company that plans to site data centres in places where energy would otherwise be wasted, says it has signed up for several potential projects in Africa.
EW&P is involved in a feasibility study to put data centres on oil platforms, making use of gas that would otherwise be wasted in flares. However, it says its approach could also help fund new solar plants by using energy generated at times of low demand. A similar concept could employ unused wind energy at night-time.
In oil-producing African countries like Nigeria gas is routinely flared because it can't be economically exploited. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has called for an end to gas flaring by 2030.
Using this waste energy in data centres could help build digital infrastructure in Africa, which still needs hundreds of data centres to meet local demand.
Several letters of intent with national governments were signed by EW&P during African Energy Week in Cape Town, South Africa, this month.
Ingvil Smines Tybring-Gjedde, CEO and Co-Founder of Earth Wind & Power , said “We have been encouraged by the discussions we had with a broad range of stakeholders, and we look forward to providing more detail on our early-stage partnerships in the coming weeks.”