The Government is presenting an updated data centre strategy entitled "Norwegian data centres – sustainable, digital power centres". The strategy, which launches a number of measures to contribute to sustainable growth and job creation in Norway, is part of the Government's commitment to digitalisation and the data-driven economy.
"Data centers are important building blocks of our digital infrastructure. Without the data center 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 Helleland.
In recent years the Norwegian data center industry has grown significantly. The industry already contributes to approximately 2,000 jobs, which could grow to more than 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," says Helleland.
In the years 2019 and 2020, 2.7 billion NOK was invested and 18 new data centres established in Norway. In the past year, several new locations have been established. German AQ Compute is building a 5,000 square meter facility in Ringerike municipality.
“Norway makes an ideal location for green and efficient data centres, thanks to a cold climate, 98% electricity supply from renewable sources, the most competitive electricity prices within Europe as well as proactive support from the Norwegian government for the data centre segment,” says Carl von Hessen of AQ Compute.
“In the context of the ever-increasing digitisation of our economy, we are convinced that Norway will become a crucial data centre hub in Northern Europe. We at AQ Compute are delighted to be part of this development, together with an already well-established data centre ecosystem consisting of national and international market stakeholders,” says von Hessen.
Helleland believes that it is essential that Norway succeed in facilitating sustainable business development throughout the country, which will contribute to more future-oriented jobs.
"We must use Norwegian power resources to develop new green industries in rural areas and attract international investment. Norway have very good prerequisites for increasing our market share within a large international industry," says Helleland.
"The cooperation between the data center industry and the Norwegian government is good, and will be developed further. We see great potential for further growth and want to work together to realize the Government's goal of a sustainable Norwegian data center industry. We invite Norwegian and foreign players throughout the data center value chain to work with us," says Petter Tømmeraas, Chairman of the Board of the Norwegian Data Centre Industry.
In the new data centre strategy, the Government presents measures to contribute to increased growth in the data centre industry while at the same time facilitating sustainable development.
The Government will:
Strengthen the promotion of Norway as a data center nation, through channels such as Invest in Norway which works to facilitate investment in data-driven value creation and data centers in Norway.
Make it easier to establish data centers in Norway by publishing a guide in English for foreign actors.
Facilitate sustainable development of the data center industry in Norway – among other things, by requiring data centers to investigate how the surplus heat (waste heat) can be utilized.
Create a heat map in order to ensure better resource utilisation of waste heat from data centers. The map and the data will make it easier to utilise surplus heat for other purposes.
Investigate how processes related to the development and licensing of connections to the transmission grid can be streamlined. The Government has appointed a public committee to consider this, among other things.
Facilitate in order for the companies in the data center industry to enter into cooperation agreements with educational institutions.