Google to Invest €1 Billion in Finnish Data Centre Expansion for AI Growth

What is trending on Google 4 August 2022

Alphabet-owned Google announced plans to invest an additional €1 billion ($1.1 billion) into expanding its data centre campus in Finland to drive its artificial intelligence (AI) business growth in Europe. The move comes as many data centres have been located in the Nordic countries in recent years due to the region’s cooler climate, tax breaks, and abundant availability of renewable power.

Finland’s Nordic neighbours, Sweden and Norway, have recently become critical of hosting data centres, with some experts suggesting that the countries should prioritize using their renewable power for products like green steel. However, Finland’s wind power capacity has increased rapidly, reaching 5,677 megawatts in 2022 alone. This growth has led to plummeting prices on windy days, creating surplus renewable capacity for data centres like Google’s, which acquires wind power in Finland under long-term contracts.

Analysts predict a significant increase in data centres’ power consumption due to the growing use of AI. Google cited this trend as one of the reasons behind its investment decision, along with its Hamina data centre in Finland already operating with 97% carbon-free energy.

“Heat coming out of our Finnish data center will be re-routed to the district heating network in nearby Hamina, covering local households, schools, and public service buildings,” Google stated. The company aims to achieve net-zero emissions across all of its operations and value chain by 2030.

In addition to its Finnish investment, Google announced last month that it would build new data centres in the Netherlands and Belgium.

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