Uncertain Greenhouse Gas Implication in Waste Heat Utilization – a Case Study with a Data Center
Waste heat utilization is shown to have the potential to decrease greenhouse gas emissions globally. The purpose of this case study is to illustrate how the utilization of waste heat to decrease municipal boundary greenhouse gas emissions may increase such emissions within wider boundaries. The case study assesses the utilization of waste heat generated by a data center. In this paper, we analyze the implications within scopes 1–3 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol together with attributional and consequential life cycle assessment principals. Only Scope 1 showed negative greenhouse gas emission implications. In order to achieve negative Scope 2 emissions, approximately half of the waste heat would need to be utilized, which is the purpose of further site development. In order for negative Scope 3 emission implications, electricity production changes are needed or local municipal replaceable greenhouse gas emissions would need to be much higher.