Climate laws for data centers mark political breakthrough for district heating

Until now, district heating has been relegated to footnotes in EU directives, but with the Fit for 55 bill district heating has attained a main role in things like forthcoming climate requirements for data centers. A political breakthough, says the Danish District Heating Association.

Facebook's data center in Odense, Denmark, provides surplus heat for district heating. If EU legislation on data centers falls into place, this could be the case elsewhere in Europe, too. | Photo: PR

In the hot summer news drought of July, when the European Commission presented the Fit for 55 bill's 4,000 pages written in mysterious officialese, hardly anyone heard the supersonic boom of district heating breaking the political sound barrier in Brussels.

"[O]ur current fossil fuel economy has reached its limits. And we know that we have to move on to a new model – one that is powered by innovation, that has clean energy, that is moving towards a circular economy," was the non-committal presentation from Commission President Ursula von der Leyen of the bill, in which a climate tariff, higher renewable energy requirements and a reorganization of the quota system stole the limelight and the headlines.

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