Batteries that once powered electric cars could soon be helping to cope with the energy demands of Europe's data centres.
A 4.3m euro project called Green Data Net is looking at new ways to maintain Europe's computer infrastructure.
While Europe is making greater use of wind and solar energy, the power from these sources is often not supplied to the places it is needed.
Using partially degraded car batteries is one way that power could be stored, by generating and supplying the power to data centres, at peak times.
Batteries for electric cars have a shelf life of about 14 years before charging and re-charging makes them unsuitable for use in such vehicles. If electric cars prove popular in Europe, the region could end up with a stockpile of old lithium ion batteries that are still broadly functional.
As the Green Data Net was launched, a spokesman for Nissan said: "Affordable and reliable batteries could have a second life in data centres and in the home, starting around 2020."
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