Cheap electricity and low temperatures in the Nordic countries will encourage Asian technology companies and internet services to set up data centres in the region during the next few years, according to Oskar Almen, Vice President for Business development at Vattenfall, Sweden’s largest power producer. In an interview with Bloomberg, Almen says he believes that as many as 60 major data centers may be established in Europe in the next 15 years, and many of them could be located near the Arctic Circle in the Nordic countries.
Almen notes that streaming services for movies, pictures and data are set to double global demand for server halls by 2025 and energy use in Southeast Asia alone is expected to increase 80% by 2035. “Local versions of YouTube, Google and Facebook exist in almost all Asian countries where English is not the major language. With large populations and a strained power situation, these players will start to look for solutions in other places,” he says.
Following Yandex to Finland
The Nordic countries offer a stable power grid, low electricity prices, fast international fiber-optic connections, and a climate that significantly reduces data centre cooling costs. In Finland, Google has invested EUR 450 million in two data centre installations since 2009 and Microsoft announced last year that it is investing EUR 250 million in a new Finnish data centre. This year Russia’s largest search engine Yandex is opening a data centre 60 kilometers from Helsinki.
Jukka Manner, Professor of networking technology at Aalto University in Finland, believes that it is only a matter of time before Asian companies follow Yandex and set up shop in the Nordic countries. “I would be surprised if we didn’t see something happening by the end of the current decade,” says Manner in Bloomberg’s article, which is headlined “Google’s Nordic Server Set to Get Asian Internet Imitators”.