Swedish data centre provider EcoDataCenter has announced the launch of what it claims to be the world’s first ‘carbon positive’ data centre.

Being carbon positive means not only that it emits no carbon emissions, but that during operation a reduction of total carbon emissions is achieved.

Fossil fuels are responsible for two-thirds of the world’s production of electricity, making data centres at risk of becoming one of the world’s largest sources of carbon dioxide emissions. As such, green and renewable data centres are in high demand as fears rise that our unabated consumption of data might be leading us towards another ecological catastrophe.

Some of the most exciting technologies and trends, such as 5G and IoT, are only going to increase the energy consumption of data centres around the world. It is therefore vital that we don’t let this fast approaching tsunami of data overwhelm us, and process and store it in green data centres.

The Swedish provider’s new data centre took four years to develop and is located in Falun, Sweden. It achieves a carbon positive operation through green electricity, and by using the surplus heat from another centre in Falu Energi; a local district heating network; and a wood pellet factory.

In the summer, surplus energy in the district heating network is used for cooling. The facility will have a total capacity of 1.9 mW.

EcoDataCenter says the facility will be switched on by the end of autumn 2018.

“Interest in the facility in Falun is enormous, and we have had visits from customers around the world even though it’s not really ready,” said Lars Thunell, Chairman of EcoDataCenter’s Board of Directors.

“Everything points to it being a major success, and we are therefore counting on the need to build a large number of facilities of this type, both in Sweden and abroad, to successfully meet interest and demand,” he added.

As a result of its low energy prices, Sweden is already an attractive country for investments in new data centres, which is why several major players – including Facebook and Google – have chosen to establish centres in Sweden.

Iron Mountain, a world leader in data and management services, recently announced that its data centres in Belgium, Netherlands, and UK are now utilising all of their electricity from renewable sources.