Amsterdam district heating goal gets data centre boost
Amsterdam’s district heating goals are to receive a boost with plans to use excess heat from a data centre to replace gas-fired central heating.
According to Dutch press reports, some of the heat from a data centre operated by global firm Equinix will be diverted to heat several buildings at the University of Amsterdam. In future, Equinix reportedly aims to deliver 100 per cent of its residual heat to the district heating network, which supplies around 70,000 buildings.
This fits with the city’s goal of eliminating gas-fired central heating by 2050.
The city authorities have already begun to implement this objective with 10,000 new public housing units having their gas supplies removed, with various district heating options taking their place. By 2020, 102,000 Amsterdam homes will have switched to district heating.
Last year, Dutch utility Nuon began work on expanding the city’s heat network between IJburg and Zeeburg Island. Extension of the heating network is one of the pillars of the ‘Sustainable Amsterdam’ scheme, which aims to connect 230,000 homes, or 40 per cent of the city’s urban development, to the heat network by 2040.
In addition, the city council aims to build 50,000 new homes over the coming ten years and to heat them with waste heat from industry. Already, 70,000 of the city’s homes are warmed with water heated at a central waste incinerator. The plan is to roll this concept out further to tap into other sources of waste heat. For example, in January UK-based waste management firm Renewi announced a ten-year deal that would see it export 100,000 tonnes per year of London waste for use in Amsterdam’s district heating network.