With the correct involvement from the Norwegian government, Norway could become the world’s greenest computer storage.
The Nordic power surplus is continuing to rise. Towards 2020 there will be a total surplus of 28,4 TWh of renewable energy available within the Norwegian/Swedish power market. In order to be able to harness this climate effect we need to look at ways to use it.
Along with the digitizing revolution that has occurred and is still occurring, there has also come an explosive need for data storage. The data center industry is digital economies basic infrastructure where all data is being processed and saved. Ciscos Global Cloud Index (GCI) estimate that the need for data centers will triple within the period 2013-2018. There are already about 3 million data centers in the US alone according to Mashable. In addition, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) estimates there will be built 60 new centers in Western Europe within 2020. The downside to all this is that data centers also need a lot of electricity to run, and with fossil electricity, also comes pollution. Schneider Electric estimates that within five years, the combined CO2 pollution of the data center industry will surpass the worlds combined airplane traffic.
The Nordic countries are among the top candidates to clean the data center industry. We have a great surplus of renewable energy (98% of all energy produced in Norway comes from Hydropower) and cold climate that are both the major reasons for the data center pollution in today’s market. However, so far Norway has been lagging behind by its neighboring countries. All our neighbors have all secured one of the top data center businesses. Sweden had Facebook, Finland Google and Denmark just got Apple. So far the Norwegian Government have been too passive to adapt to the data center industry’s needs, but not for long. The electricity tax has already been announced that it will be removed within June 2016, and there are also negotiations about placing a new fiber cable to Germany with an already planned power cable. There has also been a growth in companies preparing several different data center sites all across the country. Bulk Eiendom has secured a area in Vennesla, Green mountain on Rennesøy island, Lefdal mine in at Måløy, and Envirotech in Setesdal. Maybe the data center industry can become Norway’s next core industry now that the Oil era is coming to an end?