The Guangdong province in China, a major technology hub located on the southeast coast, has announced it is planning to move some of its data centres under the sea to try and cut energy usage.
As part of the plan, major cities such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Zhuhai will be advised to relocate "high energy-consuming data centres" to underwater locations. Data centres are known to be one of the biggest industrial consumers of energy, so building and moving them underwater means that cooling technology won’t be needed, which makes up or around a third of a facility's total electricity consumption.
This new plan follows work from the southern Chinese island province of Hainan, which started constructing the world’s first undersea commercial data centre. The province aims to complete the work within the next 5 years.
Greenpeace warns data centre electricity consumption will quadruple by 2035
The independent global campaigning network Greenpeace has warned that China’s data centres, as well as 5G base stations, are set to consume four times the amount of electricity than they usually do between 2020 and 2035. This makes the industry one of the fast-growing sources of carbon dioxide emissions.
To help reduce data centres’ impact on the environment, the industry ministry of China has recommended data centre companies use renewable energy and build their own renewable power plants, in addition to the move to underwater facilities.