The Norwegian Government is strengthening its commitment to developing a sustainable data centre industry with an updated data centre strategy entitled “Norwegian data centres – sustainable, digital power centres”.
In August 2021, Norwegian Minister of Regional Development and Digitalisation Linda H. Helleland launched an updated data centre strategy at the site of AQ Compute’s new HPC data centre at Follum, Ringerike Municipality.
The strategy, which was launched with the cooperation of the Norwegian data centre ecosystem, includes measures such as a guide for establishing data centres in Norway, a heat map – and a public committee for streamlining processes related to the power grid.
“Data centres are important building blocks of our digital infrastructure. Without the data centre industry, important areas of society within the health, energy and transport sectors would stop functioning. During the pandemic, the need for computing power has been enormous. Norway has an important role to play in further developing this industry,” said Helleland.
The new strategy is based on feedback from the industry. The Government seeks to make it easier to establish data centres in Norway by publishing a guide in English for foreign actors and strengthening Invest in Norway’s role as liaison between the foreign client and the Norwegian authorities.
The Government is also creating a heat map in order to ensure better resource utilisation of waste heat from data centres, and a public committee has been appointed to investigate how processes related to the development and licensing of connections to the transmission grid can be streamlined.
The original data centre strategy from 2018 has been successful in growing the Norwegian data centre industry. The industry has expanded significantly, and already contributes to approximately 2 000 jobs. This could grow to over 11 000 jobs in 2025, according to a recent white paper.
“The white paper shows that Norway has ideal conditions for job creation and activity in local communities where data centres are established. This strategy will contribute to further growth and business development,” said Helleland.
Speakers after the minister included Carl von Hessen of Aquila Capital, Petter Tømmeraas of the newly founded Norwegian Data Centre Industry Association as well as the six other founders of the association.
The industry players addressed specific issues which had been resolved or improved by the first data centre strategy, such as taxation and fibre infrastructure.
The industry is now looking forward to cooperating with the Ministry of Regional Development and Digitalisation on implementing the new strategy.
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