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Bringing to market more energy efficient and integrated data centres
Deadline: Jan 19, 2017  

 Energy Efficiency
 Renewable Energy
 Waste Management
 Horizon Europe

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Following the increasing demand for cloud computing, big data, Internet of Things, dematerialization of documents and other ICT services, the demand for ICT processing is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. Data centres should become more energy efficient and should maximise integration of renewable energy sources. Intermittent renewable energy sources need to be combined with energy storage (electricity or cold/heat) to ensure efficient and secure energy management in data centres. In addition, existing and new data centres should be better integrated into the various energy grids (electricity and/or heat) in order to turn their energy use and waste into a benefit for the whole energy system. Previous research activities in this area have identified a wide array of innovative solutions and concepts. However, further research and development activities are needed to bring them to the market. Speeding up the time-to-market of these promising solutions is the main challenge under this topic.


Innovation Actions are needed to increase the energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy sources and integration of data centres in the energy system. Proposals should cover several following areas: innovative and energy efficient cooling solutions, waste heat reuse, geographical and temporal workload balance, integration of local and remote renewable energy sources, integration in smart grids, integration with district heating/cooling networks, integration of power backup system in the grid and use of heat pumps for efficient use of waste heat etc. Proposals should include the development of business models to trade heat, cold, electricity or energy security and storage. Proposals should build upon the results of previous projects such as the ones funded under the FP7-Smartcities Call 2013 (namely RenewIT, DC4Cities, Dolfin, Genic, GreenDataNet, GEYSER). Proposals should focus on new and existing data centres (indicatively from 500 kW to 1 MW IT load).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Proposals are expected to demonstrate the impacts listed below (wherever possible, use quantified indicators and targets):

  • Bring data centre specific innovative energy efficiency technologies and solutions, already developed by research projects, to market faster and cheaper.
  • Reaching a Power Usage Effectiveness[[Power usage effectiveness (PUE) is a measure of how efficiently a computer data centre uses energy; PUE=total facility energy/IT equipment energy]] of up to 1.2.
  • Achieve a high share of the data centre energy consumption covered by sustainable energy resources.

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