Norwegian data centres: Cost-effective and climate-friendly
Norwegian data centre sites offer clean, affordable energy and excellent connectivity to European data hubs. The data centre ecosystem also includes a highly competent IT and technology sector backed by a government commitment to develop the industry, making Norway one of the most attractive locations for European data centres.
Data centres require a lot of energy. In Norway, virtually all electricity – for industries, cities and homes — comes from clean, renewable hydropower. Hydropower is the ideal renewable energy source for data centres, as it can be stored and thus provides clean energy around the clock. Hydropower plants can have environmental impact of their own, but due to natural conditions Norwegian hydropower has a minimal ecological footprint.
Not only is Norwegian hydropower emission-free; its abundance in Norway ensures that energy costs are kept down, too. The availability and affordability of energy has made Norway an excellent host for traditional energy-intensive manufacturing industries – and now also for data centres.
High-speed submarine fibre cables provide direct connectivity between Norway and Europe as well as the US. This enables Norwegian data centres to operate at a latency of between 12 and 20 m/s round trip (RTD) to Europe’s most important connectivity hubs: Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris.
Additional submarine cables are under construction, further improving connectivity between Norway and the UK as well as the European continent.
Norway, while not a member of the European Union (EU), is part of the European Economic Area (EEA). The EEA agreement extends the “four freedoms” to Norway, ensuring free flow of capital, personnel, services and goods between Norway and the rest of the EU.
It also guarantees that all relevant EU legislation for data storage and use is implemented here, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Therefore, for a provider of data hosting services it makes no difference whether personal data relating to, for example, Dutch clients is hosted in a data centre in France or in Norway.
In 2018, the Norwegian Government launched the world’s first national data centre strategy, including tax reductions and incentives to improve connectivity. This strategy has already inspired a positive spiral of investments; in 2019, Microsoft opened several data centres in Norway, while Volkswagen located a centre for high-performance computing (HPC) here and Google bought a large plot of land from Statkraft.
The Norwegian government has been vocal about its concern with regard to crypto mining. The high energy consumption and lack of local value creation are challenging. Norway is currently considering potential policy measures in order to address these challenges.
We remain dedicated to the Norwegian data centre strategy, and we are looking into how it might be developed further by addressing the emerging challenges, especially related to energy and crypto. We want Norway to be a world-leading sustainable country to do business in.
Source: Norwegian Datacenter Industry
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