The adoption of flexible energy generation models will be key to supporting forecasted growth in the FLAP data centre market, according to temporary power specialist Aggreko.
A recent report from Structure Research indicates that London’s colocation market will reach £1.6 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.2%. This chimes with earlier modelling from CBRE, which forecasts that supply in the wider FLAP market will double between 2020 and 2024 in its Europe Data Centres Q1 2022 report.
CBRE’s report also highlights power procurement as a key challenge in this market if it is to meet demand at a compound annual growth rate of 20%. With this in mind, Billy Durie, Global Sector Head for Data Centres at Aggreko Northern Europe, is warning that the adoption of flexible energy models will be key to ensuring continued growth and avoiding restrictions.
“The forecasted growth in London and the wider FLAP market comes as no surprise”, says Billy. “London is truly a global leader in the adoption of both outsourced and public cloud infrastructure, so the market continues to be an attractive location for investors, alongside Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Paris.
“That said, the FLAP market’s ongoing struggles with energy procurement are well-documented. In Amsterdam, we have recently observed a temporary moratorium on new builds that require more than 70MW of power. If the market continues to grow at the forecasted rate, then this may only be the tip of the iceberg for legislative action restricting data centres, so looking to alternative means of energy generation to support this growth is key.”
In response to this challenge, many operators are now exploring the possibility of generating energy on site to circumvent grid limitations. Here, businesses are able to access decentralised energy solutions through Energy as a Service (EaaS) contracts, paying by kWh to eliminate the need for upfront investment.
Billy concludes: “Issues surrounding power procurement are by no means a new issue, and don’t look to be getting better any time soon. As such, the current energy crisis may be the impetus that the data centre industry has needed to embrace on-site energy generation.
“Adopting models such as EaaS can allow data centres to generate their own power without needing the capex upfront to invest in this technology. Hired EaaS contracts, such as those offered by Aggreko, also ensure that operators aren’t locked into restrictive fixed pricing, affording them the flexibility they need to navigate the energy crisis.”