Interview with Wilfried Ritter, Windcloud, about sustainable data centres
Renewable Energy Hamburg: How did the idea for Windcloud come about?
Wilfried Ritter: “We want to design more sustainable data centres and provide them directly with local renewable energy. The first idea came to us a year and a half ago and we began to look for suitable premises. In addition, we want to use the waste heat from our servers for other industries. The algae which we have attached to our data centre in Enge-Sande absorb a large amount of CO2. We moved in to the Green Tech Campus eight months ago. Our current partners are ABE-Gruppe and Denker & Wulf AG.”
Renewable Energy Hamburg: What is your personal background? What especially motivates you?
Wilfried Ritter: “I completed my training as an energy and building technician relatively late and was responsible for the power supply on large construction sites. I was also involved in digital currencies, such as bitcoins. Now I am concentrating fully on Windcloud.”
Renewable Energy Hamburg: What role does location play for your start-up?
Wilfried Ritter: “A crucial one – people in North Frisia identify very strongly with renewable energies and want to do their bit. Acceptance of projects like this, and also of our algae pilot facility in Enge-Sande is extremely high. People are enthusiastic about these innovations.”
Renewable Energy Hamburg: You are currently working on local cloud solutions – what does this entail?
Wilfried Ritter: “We want to offer local solutions on the global internet, a bit like a greengrocer who sells locally sourced pumpkins and cabbages. At the moment we are developing a video platform for file sharing which will be hosted in Germany. We will install this on customers’ computers.
Renewable Energy Hamburg: What are your aims for the near future?
Wilfried Ritter: “Well, we’re currently developing the algae pilot facility in Enge-Sande. We’d like to roll out a facility on the market which is also economically profitable and will therefore also be of interest to large data centre providers. In the long term we’d like to establish Schleswig-Holstein as a market for alternatively used data centres. We see enormous potential here.”
Many thanks for your time and the fascinating interview! We wish you every success with all your projects!