Middle East: Earth Wind & Power (EWP) to move 'green' data centers to oilfields in the Middle East

Nov 16, 2022 | Posted by MadalineDunn

Earth Wind & Power (EWP) has announced that it has signed with services company Oilserv to place its "green" data centers in oil fields across the Middle East, including in Kuwait, Iraq, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and the United Arab Emirates. The company utilizes excess energy from wind, solar, geothermal and gas to power its data centers and argues that this kind of operation doesn't have a negative impact on existing grids. It also advertises its operations as green because it utilizes gas that would otherwise be wasted; however, this deal no doubt continues to prop up big oil, making it profitable and contributing to the production of carbon emissions. 

Speaking about the deal, Ingvil Smines Tybring-Gjedde, CEO and Co-Founder of Earth Wind & Power, said it marks another significant milestone on its journey and highlighted that the MENA region is important one to capitalize on "given the size of the market and scale of opportunity to support improved energy usage and the continuing growth in demand for data centre services." 

This announcement came during COP27 in Egypt, where it was stressed that further investment in and expansion of oil gas will spell disaster for the planet. However, a report by German NGO Urgewald and 50 NGO partners found that 655 of 685 (96%) of exploration and production companies have expansion plans; despite all warnings, this has increased by 20% since 2021. "The outcome of our calculations is truly frightening: oil and gas companies' short-term expansion plans are not in line with the net zero emissions course put forward by the IEA," says Fiona Hauke at Urgewald. "Keeping these oil and gas resources in the ground is the bare minimum of what is needed to keep 1.5C attainable."

UAE, one of the locations targeted by EWP, has been called by its president Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, a responsible supplier of energy, however, at the COP27 summit, he said it will continue to supply oil and gas "for as long as the world needs" it. The UAE will host the Cop 28 UN Climate Summit next year and at this year's summit, al-Nahyan stated that the country is the first in the Middle East to set a target of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2050. However, it remains to be seen how the UAE will implement its net-zero strategies, especially considering that the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) is continuing to ramp up its crude oil production. 

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