[San Francisco 21 February 2017]
Multigrid’s COO, Mr Gustav Bergquist, presented the business case for Scandinavian green computing at a Data Center Summit in San Francisco on Tuesday.
Leading industry representatives met to discuss the “Advantages and disadvantages of the data center operation in Europe vs the Americas” in San Francisco and Mr Bergquist pointed to the fundamental motives for hyperscale computing in the Scandinavian market as cloud services continue to grow and make computing more efficient and footloose. The Scandinavian market should become increasingly more interesting as the industry is putting more focus on renewable energy and sustainability.
Mr Bergquist highlighted the importance of the cut of the Swedish electricity tax with more than 98% for hyperscale data centers as of January 1, 2017, resulting in a de facto reduction of the operational expenditure for energy with almost half. The abundant supply of wind and hydro power – often the preferred electricity alternatives by large cloud companies – and an energy cost among the lowest in the European Union explain the increasing interest in the Scandinavian market, said Bergquist. He continued by stressing that inward investment in the Nordics and the following increase in local demand for renewable electricity should foster further investment in wind power.
Mr Bergquist pointed to the unique possibility in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden and one of the most ICT-intensive cities in the world, of turning waste heat into revenue by recovering the excess heat from the data center and sell it to the local district energy company.
– Multigrid has a contract that allows our upcoming data centers to sell its recovered energy to the district heating company at a scale that is unprecedented in the data center industry, said Bergquist.
Mr Bergquist concluded that the abundant supply of green electricity and the possibility of recovering excess heat at large scale offer scalability and reduce long term data center risk which strengthen the business case further.
Mr Bergquist noted that the Scandinavian market has limited competition and few alternatives in the wholesale multi-tenant segment, particularly when it comes to hyperscale solutions. He concluded that this is a factor that holds back and slows down the growth of cloud companies in the Nordics. However, he predicted that this could change rapidly with the lower cost of energy and notable investment by companies such as Google and Facebook that help Scandinavia develop specialized markets for design, construction and operation of hyperscale data centers.
– We are at an interesting point at the moment, I predict that Scandinavia will see significant new investment in hyperscale data centers in the coming five years, said Mr Bergquist.
Note:The Sixth Annual Northern California Data Center Summit is held February 21-22, 2017 on St Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, USA.
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About Multigrid: Multigrid Data Centers is a privately-owned company that started its operation 2016 with the objective to build Hyperscale data centers in Stockholm. The people behind the company has many years of experience from both renewable energy and data centers.