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etienne

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City or countryside : which direction ?
« on: July 09, 2017, 09:59:53 AM »
Hello,
Luxembourg is trying very hard to become an international player in whatever is possible. Right now the government is looking for 25 hectares  (1/4 of a sqr km) for a Google datacenter. This is in order to promote digitalisation which seems to be the new trend and to use it as a magnet for other companies. Such a move is only possible with a massive urbanisation of the country. Looks like the aim is to become some kind of Singapore in the center of Europe.
I see many problems in such a move from nature destruction to sustainability (a datacenter is only good for 20 years). I see IT technology as very efficient in a business context and generally for communications, but I’m not so happy with the « gaming » and « hobby » part of the picture, it takes a lot of time out of the kids’ (and adults’) lives and uses a lot of ressources (electricity and electronic devices). Somehow it also reduces local interactions between people since I discuss such topics on a forum instead as with neighbors.
Furthermore everything doesn’t need to be digital, costs have to be in relation with benefits.
It also creates uncontrolled points of failure even if the theory is that the cloud is everywhere.
Do you have any experiences with such investments and policies ?
Thanks, best regards,
Etienne

Neven

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2017, 10:53:26 AM »
The direction has always been towards cities. Hence the word civilisation. Cities have always been the hubs of culture and knowledge. But now, because of the Internet, this function has become, or could become virtual. The Internet is the hub now.

So, my suggestion would be to increase access to high-speed Internet in the countryside, so that people who can make a living thanks to computers (such as me, working as a translator) can move away from the cramped and unhealthy confines of the city. And at the same time, work towards making cities less dense, by tearing down old neighbourhoods and replace them with urban agriculture and parks.

My personal opinion currently is that cities are for young people to sow wild oats and find a suitable partner (more difficult to do on the Internet). But everyone over 40 should be forced to move out and start gardening somewhere, especially if they have young children. You know, grow up by growing other stuff.  ;)
Il faut cultiver notre jardin

Paddy

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2017, 12:41:26 PM »
It's worth noting that, paradoxically, although cities have a lot less green space, people who live in them generally have rather less of a carbon footprint, due to living in smaller, more energy efficient dwellings, needing to drive less or not at all, and so forth. So the move to more and more urban living isn't all bad.

Bob Wallace

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2017, 04:01:49 PM »
Over the next 50(?) years civilizations will undergo great changes as we replace the need for human labor with intelligent machines.  Let's assume we figure out a reasonable way to distribute goods and services to all.  Perhaps the answer will be a universal standard income.

If/when that happens then I expect we'll see a move away from cities as people are freed to live in the countryside and smaller towns.  Cities will still be there but there will be less need to live in one if you don't need to 'go where the jobs are'.

I suspect we will reach peak population in roughly 50 years, perhaps a few years later, and then we'll see population levels drop.  I think the quality of life would be much, much better if population level dropped to a third or a fourth of what they now are.  Imagine being able to go camping in one of our national parks on a whim and not having to make reservations far in advance.  Imagine a great restoration of wildlife.  Imagine how much better life would be were we not pushed up against each other all the time, often causing tempers to flair.

The carbon footprint of those living in the countryside should be no different than those living in cities.  We're moving towards 100% carbon free energy.  Country dwellers might have slightly higher material needs (fewer shared walls for housing, more time riding in robotaxis).  But as long as we can minimize the carbon load from that extra material or offset it with carbon capture living away from cities should cause no problems.

I like Neven's vision of cities becoming more like a number of small towns located close together.  That sort of density would support things like museum and orchestras.  Provide enough customers for a variety of restaurants and shops.  One could live in comfortable neighborhood but quickly travel to a concert, club, or whatever attraction the cities would offer.

We have a couple of small towns, about 10,000 people in our county.  They are large enough for 'good living'.  They have a choice of grocery stores, restaurants, entertainment and services.  Yet they are small enough that people tend to know each other.  Imagine some sort of very rapid transportation such as the Hyperloop that allowed someone to travel from their 10k town to the 'theater' or 'club' center in a less than ten minutes. 

numerobis

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2017, 04:18:43 PM »
There's a persistent myth of the countryside being cleaner, healthier living. It was, a couple centuries ago, that the city faced more illness, but public health programs have fixed that.

In reality, rural life these days tends to be more sedentary because you have to drive to get anywhere. You don't have as good an educational opportunity because schools and school friends are far away, and not as good health facilities nearby. Also, crime tends to be higher, because law enforcement is harder on a large territory where everybody knows everybody and probably prefer family ties over talking to police (property crime is lower, but most violent crime is between people who know each other).

And you need to use much more resources to support a thinly-spread population -- more km of roads per capita, less potential for mass transit, more km of lossy low-voltage grid connections, more km of telecoms wires, plus each home tends to be larger -- more to build, heat, and light -- and have more walls through which to lose heat.

Density is how you can efficiently provide services of civilization to a large population. Modern technology allows lower density living with far greater comfort than ever before, but that shouldn't be confused with a belief that rural life is more virtuous.

(I say, having just last week moved to a small town from a major city.)

Bruce Steele

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2017, 05:14:47 PM »
With solar and battery storage improvements rural lifestyles can get by on less ff energy inputs.
Biodiesel can be another addition to compliment a self sufficient farm and with some acreage vegy biodiesel or piggie biodiesel can be locally produced , completely self contained or nearly so. Carbon farming may offer some potential to add some carbon back into the soil. So from an energy perspective rural has the potential to be less energy intense than cosmopolitan lifestyles. Travel becomes less and less of a burden when you don't need to go anywhere and farm animals and crops tend to keep you at home anyhow. The biggest issue is the expense of maintaining the farm and the infrastructure. Most farm families need outside incomes and ideally that can be an Internet job but marketing farm production requires trucks ,trailers and usually some large distances traveled. There aren't local markets for the most part because the money is somewhere else , in the cities. A large part of the processing centers for crops and animals has been centralized and so the producers are forced to travel farther to deliver to market. Even farmers markets tend to force travel into the cities and eat up time and energy. The only way to avoid these issues is to get very small but you better have a big pile of money stored up before you start because farming is an expensive enterprise without an income.
 Around here with property values in the millions very few people actually buy a farm to actually produce food. Horse hobby farms or rich vineyard operators are more the norm. I can only think of one young family in the last fifteen years who has made the transition successfully and they work ungodly hours . There are hundreds and hundreds of hobby farms ,none of which are productive.
 So I guess the question still remains how do we transition to feeding humans with less energy whilst at the same time reversing destructive farm practices propagated by corporate farming, fossil water pumping, pesticides, soil loss , carbon extraction from soils, and huge infrastructure costs incurred with distance to markets. The thing that amazes me is the optimizm that electric cars generates without ever a thought to how we plan on feeding ourselves. Someone else's problem , me thinks. Changing all this in thirty years seems nigh on impossible. Thirty years to zero ff emissions.






wili

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2017, 05:59:26 PM »
"Cities have always been the hubs of culture and knowledge..."

It's always dangerous to say always...oops, I just said always...and again...Yikes!

 :)

Anyway, in early medieval times in Europe, monasteries and abbeys were the primary places where manuscripts were preserved and copied, and they were generally not located in cities.

Also note that cities above about a million people were relatively rare before 1800 or so, and they were almost always the centers of empires or of large trading networks. FFs and a few other things changed that.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

magnamentis

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2017, 06:33:36 PM »
@neven +1

+

@wili

always nice to read stuff that give me the feeling to read my own thoughts but in better language

enjoying most of your stuff, perhaps has to be mentioned as well from time to time ;)

a nice reminder of the weekend @all
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Knowledge, Understanding & Insight Are Among The Best Sources For Personal Freedom & Vitality !

Bob Wallace

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2017, 06:35:52 PM »
"Cities have always been the hubs of culture and knowledge..."

Will cities be necessary in the future?  Imagine a future where we can 'be' in each other's living rooms via holography.  You could practice or even perform with a musical ensemble, even an orchestra, from your own home.  You could be in a book club with people spread around the world.  You could take private tango lessons in your house from an instructor who was in Argentina.

Ever been to the Legion of Honor museum in San Francisco?  It's not really "in a city".  It sits on a beautiful hilltop overlooking the Pacific.  A museum doesn't need to be in a city.  It just needs to be easily accessed by enough people to make it viable.  A cluster of towns could have a museum/theater district which occupies its own space away from the towns.

Sports?  A small town of 10k could easily support several amateur sports teams.  Districts could support professional teams with players living around the area in small towns or rural settings.

Between internet connections and high speed/low impact transportation we can easily spread out.  (If we drop population levels.)

Why not robo-produce stands?  In Bangkok we have produce vendors who come through neighborhoods selling fresh produce from the back of pickups.  We used to have produce vendors with pushcarts in US cities.  No reason why we can't create a low cost, low impact way to pick the fruit and veg we want off the cart and have the rest of our groceries delivered a la Amazon and robo-UPS.

Out here in the country where I live we have a Bookmobile that visits every two weeks (?).  It has regularly scheduled stops probably every 20 miles.  That means that no one has to drive more than 10 miles to check out books.  Same could happen with robo-produce/dairy trucks.  The volume of business would be a lot higher making it likely that the robo- could arrive more frequently and probably travel less between stops.

Want to spend time in a club with people your age?  Speedy, low cost, low impact transportation will get you there.  Robo-taxis will get you home safely if you're a solo female or someone who celebrated too heavily.



numerobis

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2017, 08:23:07 PM »
Bruce Steele: if you live on a farm, your kids need to drive 20 miles to school every day. You need to drive 20 miles to see a doctor or a dentist or to go to church or to hang out with friends. If you run out of Mountain Dew, bang, a 20-mile drive to go get some. If you order from amazon, the UPS truck is going 20 miles out of its way to get to you. You can't take a bus, because it would be almost empty all the time. Self-driving cabs are much more expensive per ride because they need to go 20 miles to pick you up, then 20 miles to where you're going, at which point it's 20 miles from its next ride.

And to support all that driving, you need roads.

The reason we organized into cities back in the Bronze Age is that it's more efficient. Improved technology allows growing the catchment area of a city, which allows increasing its size.

rboyd

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2017, 09:06:00 PM »
Small-scale town (20-100,000?) in the middle of good agricultural land is probably the best. Services are locally available and enough scale to manage public order etc. Not on a coast, nor in the deep interior of a continent (much higher probable levels of warming and aridity). Away from the advancing sub-tropics.

The big cities are dependent upon massive transfers of energy and resources from far away distances. Also, the heat-island effect exacerbates increases in temperatures. If there is any breakdown in the social order living in isolation can be very dangerous.

Bob Wallace

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2017, 11:04:25 PM »
Bruce Steele: if you live on a farm, your kids need to drive 20 miles to school every day. You need to drive 20 miles to see a doctor or a dentist or to go to church or to hang out with friends. If you run out of Mountain Dew, bang, a 20-mile drive to go get some. If you order from amazon, the UPS truck is going 20 miles out of its way to get to you. You can't take a bus, because it would be almost empty all the time. Self-driving cabs are much more expensive per ride because they need to go 20 miles to pick you up, then 20 miles to where you're going, at which point it's 20 miles from its next ride.

And to support all that driving, you need roads.

The reason we organized into cities back in the Bronze Age is that it's more efficient. Improved technology allows growing the catchment area of a city, which allows increasing its size.

It's true that if you live in the country it will cost more in travel costs.  But those who live in the country rarely, if ever, call out for Chinese/pizza or decide to go out to eat because cooking dinner would be too much work. And we tend to grow a lot of our own veggies.  I've got more lettuce and peas than I can eat at the moment.  And tomatoes are starting to bear.  I'm not spending $2 for a bag of lettuce or $3 for a tomato.

 We spend our money differently.


TerryM

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2017, 01:05:11 AM »
One thing I've noticed here in Ontario is a specialization that has evolved in many small villages.
Locally we have a Mennonite village with wonderful restaurants and a giant farmer's market, a village where fine men's clothing can be purchased at moderate prices, a tiny, bucolic place where Robots, sensors and parts are manufactured, and pf course any number of villages who's restaurants draw from a very wide area. Most are separated from each other and the larger towns and villages by family owned, Mennonite and Amish farms.
This specialization is ongoing and is dependent on available transportation. I've come to see it as a very positive development.
Terry

Bruce Steele

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2017, 01:31:56 AM »
Bob, I was too busy canning apricots to respond properly so Thank you for summing up what I was thinking. Also with the advent of affordable electric vehicles there is the option of getting into town without too much ff these days. Plenty of room to place solar panels etc. I also have met some very polite home schooled children that seem bright and I assume well educated.
 There may be some gap in values between the city and the countryside but so much is really  case by case and individual interests driving these issues. The question of energy use and the potential for efficiency is also values driven IMO at this point but when costs drop far enough renewables will supersede ff due to economic interests.
 UPS and Amazon delivery is a valid arguement but delivery/freight trucks meet me at the top of the driveway as they make their daily route between nearby towns. I can get overnight delivery anywhere in the state and never leave the property.   
 It would be advantageous to have something like the organized communities that Bob desribes around here but California is a different animal.

numerobis

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2017, 02:02:58 AM »
Bob: I'm pretty sure the difference between Chinese takeout and cooking at home is in the noise compared to the issues I've mentioned (and I suspect the Chinese takeout would win).

I'm not talking about flows of fiat currency in an economy with all sorts of hidden subsidies, but rather of energy consumption, land use, and other direct physical effects. That's what matters for the climate.

rboyd poses an interesting question, which I'll reframe as "what's the optimal densification level of a society?" I have to think about that. Is it a single megacity + a hierarchy of cities in the regions (as we see in BC, Ontario, Illinois, New York, France, UK, etc) or is there a limit past which we're trading energy efficiency for other considerations.

Bob Wallace

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2017, 02:16:30 AM »
I took a break from pitting cherries.   ;)

Kids here go to school on the bus.  If they live far from the paved road then parents drive them to the highway.  Carpooling when possible for the longer hauls.  Next era school buses will run on batteries and so will the cars/pickups taking them to the bus stop.

UPS and FedEx are already running battery powered trucks on shorter routes.  That will extend into the countryside over time.  UPS and FedEx will only drive in a mile on my road so I have my packages dropped off at a friend's house.  Later I can see sending my self-driving car down to meet the delivery truck.  Or to town if I need a plumbing part or want a pizza.

The idea of ordering groceries brings a smile to my face.  When I moved here about 25 years ago the highway into town was not nearly as nice as it is now.  Lots of people ordered a lot of their food from a company called "Food for Mountain People".  You'd mail in your order along with a check and once a month the truck would show up at some local spot and you'd get  your sacks of flours, beans, bottles of ketchup, whatever you would otherwise drive to town to buy.

There still be a role for cities, for people who enjoy living in them.  They won't need to be as large because many people who now live in cities would enjoy leaving (I suspect).  That will leave those who really enjoy living close to a lot of other people, just not the ones who now escape into their homes as much as possible.






Bob Wallace

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2017, 02:25:40 AM »
Bob: I'm pretty sure the difference between Chinese takeout and cooking at home is in the noise compared to the issues I've mentioned (and I suspect the Chinese takeout would win).

I'm not talking about flows of fiat currency in an economy with all sorts of hidden subsidies, but rather of energy consumption, land use, and other direct physical effects. That's what matters for the climate.

rboyd poses an interesting question, which I'll reframe as "what's the optimal densification level of a society?" I have to think about that. Is it a single megacity + a hierarchy of cities in the regions (as we see in BC, Ontario, Illinois, New York, France, UK, etc) or is there a limit past which we're trading energy efficiency for other considerations.

How much does energy use matter if the energy is sustainable? 

Land use.  Remember, I'm talking about a very large decrease in population numbers.  There's no rational reason for us to stay at our present (or higher) levels. 

What are the "other direct physical effects"?  Some additional materials because we wouldn't be sharing walls and roofs.  As long as we use sustainable materials....

" is there a limit past which we're trading energy efficiency for other considerations."

Many of us would say "Yes".

If we want to be maximally energy efficient then we need to live in the same building where we work.  We need to live in dorms, hot bunking in three eight hour sleep shifts.  We need to eat out of a common kitchen in the building. 

I doubt anyone wants to live that way. 


Neven

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2017, 10:30:48 AM »
We could also genetically alter humans, making them smaller.  ;D

Or as the Genesis song goes:

It's said now that people will be shorter in height,
They can fit twice as many in the same building site.
(they say it's alright),
Il faut cultiver notre jardin

Ned W

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2017, 01:58:29 PM »
We could also genetically alter humans, making them smaller.  ;D

It seems that the Netherlands has been doing the opposite of that.

numerobis

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2017, 02:40:18 PM »
Unless you're expecting a global scale event as deadly as the Black Plague was in Europe, population won't fall much next century. Rather, it'll almost certainly rise for another fifty years before maybe leveling out.

In the future where population falls a lot, peacefully, maybe we're all robots who live off the land and fabricate every tool we need by eating dirt and smelting it using the fusion reactors in our bodies. That would change the equation some.

Somehow I'm more interested in discussing the present reality and the next couple of decades.

P-maker

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #20 on: July 10, 2017, 04:47:18 PM »
If I may come back to Etienne's original opening post, we have today here in Denmark just learned that Apple is building their second huge data centre in this country. This adds to the ones announced by Facebook and some other odd Internet giant. The main reasons seem to be:
  • Cheap renewable energy
  • Geology which favours energy storage
  • Central District Heating
These data centres however do not really change the balance between urban an rural communities. The debt-ridden farmers may be able to sell a few acres of land and their sons may find some comfort in sitting all day staring into a screen waiting for a signal to change a hard drive, but youngsters in the cities will be paying for these data centres, no matter where they are on Earth.

Bob Wallace

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2017, 05:08:28 PM »
" I'm more interested in discussing the present reality and the next couple of decades."

There are parts of the world where we will need to improve food and water supplies.  The places where population is most likely to keep increasing (mostly Africa).  Go to this page and click on "UN 2010-2015".  Then look at the countries with growth rates >2%.  There are 63 and some of them will likely drop below 2% over the next 5-10 years.

Those are the places where cities will grow and we will need to "deal with it".
 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population_growth_rate#List_of_countries

Then look at the countries with <1% growth.  There are 101.  These countries will not be dealing with much growth and, in fact, we should see many more drop into the negative growth category.

For the cities in countries where we should see little growth our needs will be to improve the current standard of living.  Over the next couple of decades we really need to get ICEVs gone from our cities and close any power plants that create pollution.  We need to improve our housing stock making buildings more energy efficient, especially easier to heat and cool.
---

Truthfully, I expect to see birth rates start dropping rapidly in several African countries.  Economies are improving which usually results in dropping 'babies per family'.  And we have much more effective, easy to use birth control.  With the internet, people have access to reliable information.

Much of our population growth now is increasing lifespan.  People aren't dying off as fast.  In much of the world we are hitting what seems to be the biological limit of human age.  Not surprisingly, Africa is lagging the rest of the planet but with improving economies should catch up before long.

etienne

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2017, 10:46:28 PM »
How much does energy use matter if the energy is sustainable? 

Land use.  Remember, I'm talking about a very large decrease in population numbers.  There's no rational reason for us to stay at our present (or higher) levels. 
Well, these are two points where I really don't agree.

Energy use matter even if it is renewable because excepted if you have an island configuration, because the energy you save and put on the network is energy that reduces the use of fossil fuel generators, and when prices get negative, it is an incentive for storage projects.

Land use is also an issue. Like I said, a datacenter is there for about 20 years, afterwards it has to be re-engineered or recycled. Land that is used for a datacenter can't be used for carbon capture by plants, doesn't bring a home for wildlife. If land availability is not an issue anymore, maybe the datacenter will become some kind of a wreck on the side of the road. One of the important requirement of sustainability is that recycling of the product brings incomes (or at least doesn't create costs) to the owner after use, this is only possible with a building if land is expensive.

If I may come back to Etienne's original opening post, we have today here in Denmark just learned that Apple is building their second huge data centre in this country. This adds to the ones announced by Facebook and some other odd Internet giant. The main reasons seem to be:
  • Cheap renewable energy
  • Geology which favours energy storage
  • Central District Heating
These data centres however do not really change the balance between urban an rural communities. The debt-ridden farmers may be able to sell a few acres of land and their sons may find some comfort in sitting all day staring into a screen waiting for a signal to change a hard drive, but youngsters in the cities will be paying for these data centres, no matter where they are on Earth.

Do you mean that there is no urbanisation around the datacenter ? Or is it close to a city and that it doesn't change much in the population balance of the city. In Luxembourg, they talk of about 300 jobs, it is not so much compared to the land use. The brain must be somewhere else. I bought I-Pads for the kids during the spring and was very disapointed by the product because you can't manage it anymore and it only works well if you use cloud data storage which means more datacenters and more network use.

What kind of energy storage using geology are you talking about ? If it is heat, I guess it is not needed by the datacentre.

Does the datacenter puts it's heat in the  central disctrict heating ? The problem with datacenter heat is that it is not very warm (somewhere  between 20°C and 25°C), so you have the choice between moving a lot of water to transport the heat to the houses and offices around the datacenter or to loose efficiency with an additional heat pump in order to reach normal central district heating temperature (50°C should be enough to heat the offices of the datacentre, but central district heating is between 70°C and 100 °C in Luxembourg so that warm drinking water can be produced). In winter, freecooling might be cheaper than providing the heat to customers (maybe not for the huge datacentre we are talking about).
I only know cases where the datacenter heats its offices and the ones of the neighbours, I even heard of a project where it should dry wood chips, but never heard of it being connected to a central district heating.

Best regards,

Etienne

P-maker

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2017, 01:14:48 AM »
Etienne,

thanks for asking.

All four new data centres in Denmark will be located out of town. Most likely because land prices are lower there.

They will however be located only 5-15 km away from the nearest  town/city with well developed Central District Heating (CDH) systems serving on average > 65 % of the households in Denmark.

Cooling data centres with 8 C groundwater is feasible. However you are not allowed to raise the groundwater temperature above 25 C, so ATES plants have their limitations.

Since cooling demand is highest during summer (when people take pictures and district heating demand is almost nil), you will need to store heat from summer to winter. Surface solutions are rather expensive, so underground storage may come in handy as both the cheapest and the only solution regarding those huge volumes of 90 C water to be stored below the ground water level.

Large heat pumps will be needed (either at the data centre, at the storage site or in town), but if you build it in a clever way, you may be able to use the compressor twice (running on cheap renewable energy) both before you store and after you retrieve the hot water for CDH.

You should not regret the loss of farmland in this country. The loss of biodiversity and the BECCS perspectives are non-existent.

sidd

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2017, 01:33:57 AM »
THere are a few datacenters I have seen built which were designed with "greenfield to greenfield" ideas. The lifetime was projected to be twenty to twenty five years, and contractual provisions and monies assured for retirement, recycling and ecosystem restoration.

But most are not.

etienne

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Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2017, 06:42:20 AM »
Well, this is a very good concept. Since Denmark doesn't need too much cooling in houses, you probably have a lot of electricity available in the summer to run the heat pumps that are needed to store the heat, and the warmed ground insures an high efficiency in the winter, even if a lot of heat would be lost and heat pump would be needed again to reach the 90°C of the central district heating.

It is interesting to see that geothermy is used always more for storage.

Best regards,
Etienne