Largest Q2 ever recorded for data centre demand in Europe

JLL's report highlights how the "gold rush of AI" continues to drive data centre growth. Credit: JLL
The last quarter saw record demand for data centres with 114MW of take-up across Europe’s leading markets of Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, Paris and Dublin

The period from April to June 2023 saw record demand for data centres with 114 MW of take-up across FLAP-D.

The EMEA Data Centres Q2 2023 report shows the take up across last quarter was more than double the 51 MW seen in Q1, according to the new research carried out by JLL.

London remains the largest market with a total of 902 MW, a 35% share of total tier one supply, but Frankfurt led much of the momentum with 44 MW of take-up in Q2, bringing the year-to-date total to 80 MW in comparison to 26 MW at the same point last year.

What is driving growing data centre demand in Europe?

The growing demand for AI is leading to a fundamental change in the design of data centres, the report details.

For facilities used for training AI models, latency is less of an issue so proximity to the end user is not critical. These data centres can be strategically located where access to renewable energy, land and water is more readily available.

Because of this, JLL expects to see a ‘bring the data centre to the power rather than bring power to the data centre’ approach emerging across the continent..

“The gold rush of AI continues to drive data centre growth even further and is opening an exciting new chapter for our industry,” Tom Glover, Head of EMEA Data Centre Transactions at JLL explained. “The second quarter of 2023 was another record-breaking period for data centre demand across Europe, with the activity showing no signs of abating.”

Daniel Thorpe, JLL’s EMEA Data Centre Research Lead added: “The AI era is here and there is no going back. What we’re seeing play out in the market is that data centres are gearing up to better support increased power and performance requirements. The second half of 2023 will see continued momentum as new data centre supply comes to the market.”

Where is this growth most prominent in Europe?

In terms of supply, Frankfurt has seen significant growth in 2023, JLL says. The report shows that 69MW of new supply was added in the first half of the year, with the colocation market  reaching 656MW and the total market size increasing by more than 11% in the first two quarters alone.

And over in London, the city saw a significant drop in the amount of new supply added, with only an extra 7MW becoming available. Despite this, the development pipeline remains strong as an abundance of new developments were announced in Q2.

In Paris, 24MW of new supply has been added so far in 2023, with a further 40MW still to materialise before the end of the year.  About half of Paris’ new supply has been added in Dublin at 12MW, which JLL research says is a healthy level of activity for the market. The overall size has increased by 6% to 199MW. 

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