حفلة 2024

Google to invest $1.1b in Finnish data centre

Google announced on Monday a further investment of 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) to expand its data centre campus in Finland, according to Reuters.

This move aims to boost its artificial intelligence (AI) business growth in Europe. The Nordic countries, known for their cooler climate, tax breaks, and abundant renewable power, have been popular locations for data centres in recent years.

However, Finland’s neighbours, Sweden and Norway, have expressed concerns about hosting these centres. Some experts suggest that the Nordic countries should use their renewable power for higher surplus value products like green steel.

Despite this, Finland’s wind power capacity has surged by 75 per cent to 5,677 megawatts in 2022, leading to negative prices on windy days. This indicates that there is still renewable capacity available for data centres like Google’s, which acquires wind power in Finland under long-term contracts.

Analysts predict a massive increase in power consumption by data centres due to the rapid growth in AI usage. Google cited this as one of the reasons for its investment decision, along with the fact that its Hamina data centre in Finland already operates with 97 per cent carbon-free energy.

The company plans to reroute heat from the Finnish data centre to the district heating network in nearby Hamina, benefiting local households, schools, and public service buildings. Google aims to achieve net zero emissions across all its operations and value chain by 2030.

In addition to its Finnish investment, Google announced last month that it would build new data centres in the Netherlands and Belgium.

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