How the Data Centre Market in Norway is Leading by Design

With Google, Skanska and Green Mountain building and running facilities in Norway, the country stands as a leader in sustainable and efficient data centres

Norway has always boasted a unique position as a leading sustainable data centre location, which has become particularly attractive to data centre companies seeking to lower their carbon footprint.

The country, alongside other Nordic countries, produces a surplus of low-cost renewable power, creating the ideal conditions for data centre success. Seeking to continue its growth in a energy-saving way, the country’s data centre market is committed to business development as it seeks to serve the local communities and provide jobs at its facilities.

It is also keen to continue partnering with leading companies in the industry who are hoping to expand across Europe sustainably.

Government strategy paves the way for data centre success

In February 2024, The Norwegian government announced that it would be strengthening its data centre strategy based on feedback from the industry. They are seeking to make it easier to establish data centres in the country 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.

Also included in these plans is to create a heat map in order to ensure better resource utilisation of waste heat from data centres. Demonstrating that the country takes its carbon footprint seriously, 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 country also founded the Norwegian Data Center Industry Association in 2021 to promote Norway as a key international player in the data centre industry, which General Manager Bjorn Ronning told Data Centre Magazine about in 2022:

“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,” says Linda H. Helleland, Norwegian Minister of Regional Development and Digitalisation.

Plenty of companies are seeking to reap the benefits from Norway’s clear data centre strategy. As part of its commitment to advancing its European data centre presence, technology giant Google has officially broken ground on its first facility in Norway. Set to go live in 2026, the Google facility will be ready to offer its waste heat and contribute towards greater digitalisation in a greener way.

‘Shifting the conversation’ towards sustainable development

In line with the rest of the world, Norway is experiencing rapid growth in technology and innovation which is fuelling greater investments into cooling options and power and connectivity accessibility.

A recent report conducted by Arizton found in February 2024 that global sustainable data centre market investments will reach US$54.53bn by 2028, with more than 6,907MW of power capacity to be added in the next six years.

Colocation and hyperscale operators like Google, AWS, Meta, Equinix, CyrusOne and Microsoft - to name a few - are continually involved in procuring renewable and clean energy to power their data centre facilities for a sustainable future. Likewise, renewable energy companies have been investing in the development of renewable energy power plants.

In fact, companies like Green Mountain are helping to shift the conversation in the Norwegian data centre sector towards finding new sustainable solutions to process data, via plans to establish a new data centre in Kalberg, to operate with the lowest possible carbon footprint.

The company also partnered with TikTok to launch a new hyperscale facility in Norway, which powered up in November 2023. Proposed to be the largest data centre in the country, it is designed to support the social media giant’s increasing data storage needs in Europe.

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