Environment conscious businesses are being urged to look to Scandinavia for their hosting needs in a bid to reduce their carbon footprint.
Industry analyst BroadGroup said this week that, while London data centres are fast approaching full utilisation, they remain the most active and promising in Europe. But the danger is that London will run out of space and power.
The UK and other western developed nations have been at the mercy of Russian energy pipelines, cutting supplies to Ukraine and Belarus for political reasons.
But Norway has given a pledge on "reliable energy supply" and is well placed to provide continental Europe with secure energy supplies, the analyst firm said.
Norway is also one of the leading global producers of hydroelectricity owing to its elevation. Nearly 99 per cent of Norway's total electricity generation stems from hydropower, giving its data centres a zero carbon footprint.
With low temperatures for six months of the year, Scandinavian data centres take advantage of a technique known as 'free cooling' in which the data centre screens are opened to the elements allowing the cold air to keep high-density servers cool.
Without the need for chillers or advanced eco-technology solutions, energy consumption is dramatically reduced.
Maintaining the right environment is said to account for 70 per cent of the total electricity output of a data centre. An average UK data centre energy bill runs at around €5.3m a year.
"The rising costs of energy and the unrelenting demand for IT will severely test the operational viability of UK data centres by 2010," said a representative from the Datacentre Practice at BroadGroup.
"Maintaining enough power, keeping things cool without using masses of energy and staying green, i.e. having a zero carbon footprint, represent the greatest challenges faced by data centers today."
Moreover, all Scandinavian nations show strong growth, controlled inflation and low interest rates.
"The Nordic economies are cruising at optimal speed. Looking at Scandinavian sites to house our IT services may not seem as far fetched as first thought," said strategists at investment bank Alfred Berg, the Nordic subsidy of ABN AMRO.
"Scandinavia could actually provide IT so cheaply that it is affordable to all businesses, and may turn out to be better for the environment."
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