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OpenUK donates data centre energy efficiency blueprint Patchwork Kilt to Eclipse Foundation

Open UK
11th November 2021

New blueprint supports carbon neutral and carbon negative projects that aim to make implementations more efficient, contributing to circular economy and net zero goals.

Glasgow, Scotland – 11 November 2021 – OpenUK today announced that it has moved its Net Zero Data Centre Blueprint promoting sustainability to the Eclipse Foundation. The new project, to be called Patchwork Kilt, provides a framework for organisations to adopt more energy efficient design in how they build, operate and manage the supply chain for their data centres. This will help create more carbon neutral and even carbon negative Data Centres that contribute more back to the wider community.

The project uses edge computing and is 5G enabled to allow the use of derelict building stock, creating smaller data centres close to the end user. By using smaller locations that are part of the communities they support, further energy efficiency and circular economy benefits can be achieved compared to building and operating larger standalone locations.

The Eclipse Foundation will host the project and support its ongoing development and expansion so that more contributors and adopters can take advantage of the project. Patchwork Kilt is designed to combine open source hardware and software with the full circular economy model, with the aim to re-use, recycle and repurpose as much as possible. The project was designed by participants from OpenUK, the Open Compute Project, the Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance (SDIA), ITRenew, the Scottish 5G Centre and the Octopus Energy Centre for Net Zero.

“Projects like this one can demonstrate a lasting impact on energy efficient computing and data centre design, based on making the most of circular economy design and open source hardware and software together. We think this is the first time this approach has been taken, and we are pleased that the Eclipse Foundation will support getting more users to take advantage of this work. We’re also pleased that the name – Patchwork Kilt – will be a reminder of the COP26 conference and the role that this conference will play in how companies and communities respond to the climate crisis,” said Amanda Brock, CEO at OpenUK.

“The demand for data centres is not abating and the amount of power required by new applications and services will grow. As the Internet of Things grows and edge computing develops, the Patchwork Kilt project represents an innovative approach to carbon neutral implementations.We are very happy to accept this project alongside our existing open source IoT and supply chain projects which are used to benefit millions of people every day,” said Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director at the Eclipse Foundation.

“So what is the central and urgent mission for COP26? Methinks it is to solve a planetary wide climate emergency and without doubt this is a complex systems problem, so that’s why all of the keynotes on day one at COP26 emphasised the need for worldwide open collaboration. The largest machine ever made by Homo Sapiens is the Internet and the most complex puzzle ever solved by Homo Sapiens is probably mapping the Human Genome and both of these were achieved by forming worldwide open collaborative commons. The millions of Open source technology hackers/makers working today can contribute hugely to the actions required to solve the climate emergency so why not use them and learn from them the art of complex systems collaboration to solve the climate emergency problem fast,” commented John Laban, European Director at the Open Compute Project Foundation.

“Moving data centre design forward, while at the same time rebalancing how we approach digital infrastructure from a resource consumption and environmental impact perspective, is critical. The open source community has overcome some of the great challenges in the past, through collaboration and shared values. That’s why we are happy to see that the Eclipse Foundation, and with it the open source community, will take this framework further,” said Max Schulze, Executive Chairman at SDIA.

The data centre sector is a significant consumer of energy worldwide, and the market is expanding.

  • According to CBRE, 400 megawatts of new data centre space is expected to be supplied in 2021 in Europe, and the same again in 2022.
  • Previously, Anders Andrae of Huawei and Tomas Edler of Green Communication predicted that energy consumption in the data centre sector would be around 2,967 TeraWatt Hours (TWh) by 2030, with a potential worst case scenario of around 7,933 TWh.
  • This represents a rise to between 3% and 13% of global power consumption by 2030. Any improvements to energy efficiency across the sector can therefore cut large consumption of power, and ensure that energy used produces more results.
  • The donation was announced at Skypark Glasgow as part of the UN Climate Change Conference for 2021.

About OpenUK

OpenUK is a not for profit industry organisation for the business of Open Technology, being open source software, open source hardware and open data across the UK.  OpenUK gives its participants greater influence than they could ever achieve alone by creating a cohesive voice for the business community.

OpenUK is committed to promoting UK leadership and international collaboration  in open technology and supporting collaboration between businesses, public sector organisations, government and communities, focusing on the UK to collaborate globally. OpenUK works on 3 pillars: Community, Legal and Policy and Learning.

OpenUK is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, company number 11209475.


Mark Kember
onebite for OpenUK
+44 (0)1635 887707

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