Today, Volkswagen AG announced its goal to make its data center operations carbon neutral by 2027. To achieve this goal, the Group has expanded its computing capabilities at Green Mountain, a Norwegian data center operator CO₂ neutral. With this expansion, a quarter of Volkswagen’s global data center operations will operate in a carbon-neutral manner. This corresponds to an annual CO₂ saving of 10,000 tons.
Accelerating its decarbonisation strategy, Volkswagen AG has set itself the ambitious goal of making its data centers net carbon neutral by 2027. This would be three years earlier than planned in the European Green Deal, under which operators of European data centers have agreed to make their data centers climate neutral by 2030. To achieve this goal, Volkswagen has extended its data center operations to Green Mountain, a Norwegian operator of CO₂ neutral data centers. All Green Mountain servers run on 100% renewable electricity generated by hydroelectricity and are naturally cooled by the adjacent fjord.
Hauke Stars, Board Member, IT & Digitization, explained: “Green IT is a key topic in our ESG program. While technology is the primary driver for greater efficiency, improved customer experience and new business models, IT accounts for around 3% of global CO₂ emissions,” said Hauke Stars, Board Member, IT & Digitalization. “Given the growing demand for computing power and data storage To enable the Volkswagen Group’s NEW AUTO strategy, a sustainable IT roadmap with ambitious goals is paramount to systematically reducing our carbon footprint, with data centers being the largest contributor of carbon emissions. carbon in computing, expanding our compute capacity at Green Mountain is a powerful lever to make our data center operations carbon neutral rbone by 2027.”
The cooperation with Green Mountain began in June 2019, when the Volkswagen Group opened its data center operations at Green Mountain’s RJU1-Rjukan site in Telemark, Norway. The goal was to outsource non-emergency high-performance computing projects, such as crash test simulations, to free up capacity in Volkswagen Group’s head office data centers needed for mission-critical business applications. In total, the Volkswagen Group operates six data centers worldwide, three in Wolfsburg, two in Norway and one in Singapore.
With Volkswagen AG’s latest expansion to the SVG1-Rennesøy data center in Green Mountain, a quarter of the group’s global computing power needs will operate in a carbon-neutral manner. This corresponds to an annual CO₂ saving of 10,000 tons. The renewable energy used to operate Volkswagen’s data center in Green Mountain would be enough to supply green electricity to 500 homes for a year.
“We appreciate Volkswagen’s renewed trust in us and are pleased to support them on their journey to complete carbon neutrality,” said Tor Kristian Gyland, CEO of Green Mountain. “Together, we share the same vision of a more sustainable future.”
For the new SVG1-Rennesøy site, Green Mountain converted a former high security NATO munitions storage facility into a unique 22,600 m² high security mountain hall colocation data center. The infrastructure was designed to be scaled up to 2 x 26 MW, with Volkswagen using 3 MW of capacity. For cooling, which in traditional data centers accounts for 40% to 80% of the electricity needed to power the servers, SVG1-Rennesøy takes advantage of the adjacent deep-water fjord reaching 100 meters, with a constant water temperature of 8 degrees Celsius all year round.
In Norway, 98.9% of electricity production is renewable, with the majority coming from hydroelectricity. Hydroelectricity has both a minimal carbon footprint and a marginal ecological impact. The Norwegian government strongly promotes the use of energy from renewable energy sources for new branches of industry, for example in climate-neutral data centers. Tax breaks, low energy prices, and stable political conditions make Norway an ideal location for green computing.
Volkswagen AG was the first automaker to commit to the Paris climate accord in 2018. By 2050, the company aims to be net CO₂ neutral. In its core business, the Group aims to achieve a 30% reduction in CO emissions by 2030. Today, more than 90% of Volkswagen AG’s external power supply for its European manufacturing sites already comes from renewable energies.
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