Hewlett-Packard is developing methane-powered data centres to be sited at dairy farms


Researchers at computing giant Hewlett-Packard are developing data centres that can be powered on energy generated from cow manure.

According to a report in the Sunday Times, the company plans to build data centres on dairy farms where they would be hooked up to power plants fuelled by waste.

One cow produces enough waste every day to power the televisions in three typical households. However, around 10,000 cows would be needed to produce enough to run a typical data centre and meet the energy needs of the farm.

Cow manure produces methane gas, which is around 20 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide.

Global meat and dairy consumption is expected to soar in the next 10 years, as countries such as China and India move towards a more western diet, and - with the amount of data stored online increasing - the approach could simultaneously solve two problems.