Tor Björn Minde
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Let’s take a peek into the future of how much energy data centers in Sweden will use by 2030? The report "Energy Use in Data Centers and Digital System", written by us at RISE data center ICE, was recently released for the Swedish Energy Agency. Here we figure out how much energy that will be used 2025 and 2030!
Sweden has always been an attractive destination for data center investments, thanks to its favorable factors like cool climate, reliable power supply, skilled workforce, and top-notch broadband infrastructure. While the future remains uncertain, we can make some predictions based on current knowledge.
In previous blog posts we have looked at current use of energy in data centers, in Sweden particular. Now, let's discuss the future development of data center energy use. Predicting energy usage in data centers for the long term is quite challenging and requires scenario modeling. Several factors will shape this development, including power availability in Sweden, policy frameworks, tax regulations, data sharing legislation, and the adoption of new technologies like IoT, Metaverse, AI, edge computing, and 5G-6G.
Looking beyond 2022, the global data center energy use is expected to follow a fairly linear trajectory until 2025, and possibly even up to 2030, according to reliable sources like the International Energy Agency (IEA). Efficiency improvements in ICT technologies and resource sharing through cloud services have contributed to limiting the growth in energy demand. However, it's uncertain if this trend will continue post-2025. The figure illustrates the drivers of data center energy use.
When it comes to data center market development in Sweden, the country has the potential to play a leading role in Europe, depending on policy-making decisions. Sweden has been recognized for its political stability, although the recent removal of the industry tax reduction may impact its ranking in this regard.
On the other hand, European policies are increasingly focusing on energy efficiency and renewable energy use in data center operations, making Sweden an attractive destination for relocating compute loads and contributing to a more sustainable Europe.
Now, let's talk numbers beyond 2022. Based on the European average growth rate of 2% CAGR, we can expect an energy use of 3.2 TWh per year by 2025 and 3.5 TWh per year by 2030. Considering the global growth rate of 3.4% CAGR, the figures increase to 3.3 TWh per year in 2025 and 3.9 TWh per year in 2030. However, using the growth rate from the Radar report the estimated energy use reaches 5.7 TWh per year in 2025 and a significant 22 TWh per year by 2030. This projection seems unrealistic for a period beyond 2018-2022, which witnessed the establishment of numerous hyperscale data centers in Sweden.
We can see that the growth due to new hyper-scalers establishing in Sweden until year 2025 will still be larger than an average global hyperscale growth with four Microsoft facilities coming in full operations, one new Meta facility is being built and soon coming on-line and planned Google and EcoDC facilities are to be built. The estimate is that it will be around half the growth rate in the Radar report.
So, for the year 2025, the energy usage in Sweden will be between 4.0-4.4 TWh per year, reflecting a 75% increase compared to the figures from the 2020 Radar report, assuming no significant changes occur in technology, policy-making, or demand.
Predicting what will happen after 2025 becomes more challenging. A cautious estimation suggests that Sweden's data center landscape will resemble that of the rest of Europe, as many hyperscale facilities will already be established. Assuming an average growth rate of 2.0-3.4% CAGR, we can expect energy use to reach 4.4-5.2 TWh per year by 2030, doubling the usage from 2020 over the span of a decade.
In a nutshell, we can summarize it as "3-4-5 TWh/year" for 2022, 2025, and 2030. These numbers give us an idea of the expected energy use in the coming years. It's important to keep a close eye on these developments as the data center industry continues to evolve and shape our digital future.
We at ICE data center are happy to help you if more questions about data centers and energy use come up—please get in touch if you have any questions!