Grass-Fed Data Centers
Biomass is not a particularly typical data center fuel, but it looks like it could be a good alternative to other less renewable sources of energy. Wikipedia has a lot of interesting stuff to say on the subject. Basically biomass is living or recently-living material, especially plant matter, used to generate electricity or heat. It’s better for the carbon cycle than fossil fuels since burning fossil fuels releases carbon that’s been out of the cycle for too long, whereas biomass creates less of an imbalance. It’s still not a perfectly healthy fuel, but it’s better than say, coal (I’m looking at you, Facebook).
The term “grass-fed” and its environmentally-friendly connotations are a little misleading in relation to a biomass-fueled data center, considering biomass is far from carbon-neutral. But it does make sense since the data center in question, a potential facility proposed by the Data Center Coalition, would be using biomass mostly composed of grass.
Grass is easy to come by on the plains of Missouri where the Data Center Coalition wants to build, which is lucky for Missouri since it’s not an incredibly attractive candidate on account of a lack of tax-exemptions for data centers. It’ll be interesting to see how this biomass niche develops. For more check out the article on the Columbia Business Times site.
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