In 2018 the Norwegian government published the world’s first national strategy on data centers. Today, Minister of Regional Development and Digitalisation, Linda Hofstad Helleland presented an updated version with an ambitious goal: becoming the world's most sustainable data center nation.
“Norway has a unique foundation for becoming the world's most attractive data center nation. We have a surplus of renewable energy, low electricity prices, good digital infrastructure and a cool climate. The Government is now strengthening its commitment to a sustainable data center industry. This will create many new jobs in the regions and help develop new digital services throughout the country," says Minister of Regional Development and Digitalisation Linda Hofstad Helleland.
"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."
The full strategy is still only in Norwegian (click here for the document) but main points include:
- Continue to facilitate stable framework conditions for the data center industry.
- Prioritize ICT educations to secure sufficient access to ICT competence and facilitate cooperation agreements between data center operators and educational institutions.
- Facilitate sustainable development of the data center industry in Norway – for instance by requiring operators to make assessments of potential waste heat recovery when establishing or upgrading facilities.
- Establish a national heat map to ensure better resource utilization of waste heat.
- Strengthen the marketing of Norway as a data center nation.
- Continue to strengthen the digital foundation – investments in fiber, grid and more renewable power to meet increasing demand.
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.
"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," Helleland concluded.
Newly established Norwegian Data Centre Industry 'very enthusiastic'
"Very enthusiastic about the revised data centre strategy launched by the Norwegian government at Hønefoss today. We are lucky to have a government with a clear strategy to support our industry and look forward to the continued cooperation with the government and other public entities", says Petter Tømmeraas, Chairman of the Board of the Norwegian Data Centre Industry, in a post on LinkedIn.
In a government press release earlier today Tømmeraas said: "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"