Google plans $3-bln investment in Europe
Google plans to invest $3 billion in the expansion of its data centers in Europe over the next two years.
AP had the news:
Google’s top boss said Friday the tech giant is planning to invest 3 billion euros to expand its data centers across Europe in the next two years.
Chief executive Sundar Pichai says it will bring the company’s total investments in the continent’s internet infrastructure to 15 billion euros since 2007.
Pichai met with Finnish Prime Minister Antii Rinne on Friday in Helsinki and said the investments will support 13,000 full-time jobs in the European Union every year.
He also noted that Google is investing heavily in renewable energy, an initiative announced ahead of global rallies calling for action to guard against climate change. Employees at Google and other big U.S. tech companies such as Amazon and Microsoft planned to participate in the “global climate strike” Friday.
The Google project will include the construction of more than 1 billion euros in new energy infrastructure in the EU, among them a new offshore wind project in Belgium, five solar energy projects in Denmark, and two wind energy projects in each Sweden and Finland. There are also projects in the U.S. and South America.
Reuters’ Tarmo Virki reported:
The investment plan includes an additional 600 million euros investment in the Hamina data center in Finland, bringing total investment in the site to 2 billion euros, Finland’s Prime Minister Antti Rinne told the joint news conference.
“This is fantastic news for Finland,” Rinne said.
Google already has one data center in Hamina, where it invested 800 million euros to convert an old paper mill. It said in May it would invest 600 million euros in a new data center on the same site.
Google bought the site from paper firm Stora Enso in 2009. The location is close to the Russian border and uses seawater from the Gulf of Finland to reduce energy used in cooling.
Google’s other European data centers are located in the Netherlands, Ireland and Belgium.
Forbes’ Stephen Pope noted:
Three months ago, Google said it would invest €1 billion ($1.1 billion) to expand its data center infrastructure in the Netherlands at a facility in Agriport, located approximately 30 miles north of Amsterdam. An existing site about 130 miles further to the north, in Eemshaven, will also be expanded.
Joe Kava, vice president of Google’s Global Data Centers, noted that the Netherlands was attractive for its “…ample sustainable energy sources…”. This is true as large scale wind farms and sophisticated hydroelectric resources when combined with a generally cooler climate allow firms to reduce their use of fossil fuels so saving money in keeping the vast arrays of computer servers at optimal running temperatures.
The data economy across Europe is forecast to grow rapidly and so will add even more of a stimulus across the continent. The value of the EU data economy was estimated by the International Data Corporation (IDC) and the Lisbon Council as representing 1.90% of the EU GDP in 2018 and this is projected to rise to 5.4% by 2025.
Long-term growth in the number of enterprises that will actively use data is going to be highest in professional services and lowest in primary activities such as mining and construction.