Stockholm (NordSIP) – Google has made the decision to invest almost $700 million (DKK 4.5bn) in a data centre in Fredericia, Denmark, thanks to the opportunities presented by green energy in the country and in the Nordic region more broadly.
“We welcome Google to Denmark, the Digital Kingdom,” said Denmark’s State Secretary for Trade Susanne Hyldelund at Datacloud Nordic 2018 in Copenhagen earlier this week. “Google’s investment will contribute €200 million between 2018 and 2021 as an economic boost to Denmark. It is clear it will benefit the city of Fredericia and Denmark as a whole.”
Google is also actively pursuing other new green investment opportunities in Denmark and in the Nordics as it undergoes an evaluation of projects within onshore and offshore wind energy. Denmark is home to the largest wind energy sector in the world, which includes turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems and offshore wind farm developer Ørsted.
A new report published by the Nordic Council of Ministers and undertaken by COWI Group, a sustainability consultancy, suggested annual investment in Nordic data centres could double to over €4 billion by 2025, corresponding to an annual capacity of 280-580 MW annually, with additional mammoth corporations including Facebook, Apple and Microsoft rushing to secure cheap renewable energy to manage costs and reduce their carbon footprints.
“Cloud and hypercscale companies such as Facebook, Google, Amazon Web Services and Apple have made major investments in Nordic data centres recently,” said Jakob Dybdal Christesen, Chief Market Manager at COWI. “The Nordics meet all key criteria for site selection, ranging from reliable, reneable energy to world class fibre optic infrastructure; this thus presents a powerful proposition for corporate investment in existing and new facilities.”
The study compared the attractiveness of the Nordic region to the FLAP-D region (Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, Paris and Dublin) in terms of accelerating global data volumes and the challenges involved in addressing the sustainable growth of cloud streaming and computing services.
The report found that the Nordics are likely to gain market share due to five key advantages: abundant renewable energy, a reliable power supply, low energy prices, political stability and faster time-to-market thanks to the ease of doing business.
The construction of the new data centre in Denmark is not without controversy, however. As NordSIP reported earlier this year, figures calculated by the government suggest CO2 emissions are actually expected to rise between 5 and 10 per cent due to the enormous amount of energy various data centres are expected to consume.
The new data centre will employ 150-200 staff upon completion in 2021.