Business - 20/August/2018

Denmark grapples with voracious energy appetite of big data centres

The construction of vast data centres in Denmark by large tech giants will boost the Danish economy, but risks impacting the share of renewable energy in the country’s energy mix

When the Danish Energy Agency in April 2018 presented its scenario forecasts for 2030, eyebrows were raised. In its frozen policy scenario, which describes expected developments assuming no new policies, the share of renewables in Denmark’s energy mix declines to 39.8% by 2030, well below the government’s goal of at least 50%. The agency shows the share of renewable energy increasing from now until 2021, when it peaks at 43.6% before declining. Renewables growth, according to this particular scenario, would fail to keep pace with a huge increase in electricity consumption, primarily driven by hyper scale data centres — big buildings housing thousands of power-hungry servers to provide cloud computing services and store vast amounts of information from every corner of the world. Data centres may account for 20% of Denmark’s electricity consumption by 2030. ...

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