30/07/2021 – Technology / Datacentre / Datacenter / Power / Survey / Report / BCS / Business
New survey highlights power conundrum facing datacentre sector
Continued confidence in future demand levels in the datacentre sector could be hampered by challenges around availability of power, according to a new independent survey of industry professionals.
Now in its 14th year, the Summer Report 2021 captures the views of over 3,000 senior datacentre professionals across Europe, including owners, operators, developers, consultants and end users.
The new survey is undertaken by independent research house IX Consulting and commissioned by BCS (Business Critical Solutions), a specialist services provider to the digital infrastructure industry. The report is designed to provide insightful and useful industry information, tracking key trends within the sector and the broader tech industry.
The report highlights some very positive findings, including sector demand remaining on an upward trajectory, with developer and investor respondents being the most positive since the start of this survey. However, as a result, the industry is witnessing strong growth with an increase in efficient power infrastructure spending, alongside a rise in electricity demand, accelerating the emergence of a new electricity-intensive industry.
Challenge surrounding availability of power
The challenge is increasingly around the availability of power, which remains the most important factor in the decision-making process for a new data centre. Nearly three-quarters of survey respondents cited this as their number one driving choice (compared to 62 per cent of respondents to the study conducted in winter last year). “Indeed, amongst our developer and investor respondents, the ability to have access to a secure and economic power source is rated even more highly, with around 85 per cent placing it first,” BCS said in a statement.
The desire for efficiency is one of the core tenets for most organisations’ business plans. Therefore, it is perhaps not surprising that faced with rising costs, enterprises will look for efficient solutions to limit their exposure to such increases. As a result, two-thirds of respondents believe that an expected rise in power costs in Europe will see demand levels for power efficient data centre space rise over the next three years. Amongst our service providers, some 76 per cent share this view, and 84 per cent of developer and investor respondents concur, while just 40 per cent of our end-users are in agreement.
“The impact of power runs across every aspect of the market”
James Hart, CEO at BCS, said that the fortunes of the data centre industry are “inextricably linked” to the ability to source and utilise power in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. “The impact of power runs across every aspect of the market – from informing decisions on data centre site selection, through the design and construction phases, and the operation of such facilities. With forecast growth for digital services likely to remain substantial, the industry continues to respond to power issues created as a result, with the question of sustainability arguably never so important as it is today,” he advised.
“We believe that utilities is a specialist area that is often overlooked, with many organisations unaware of the flexibility that is a result of deregulation, and that efficiencies can be as high as 80 per cent with the right solution,” he continued. “In response to this we recently launched BCS Utilities, as part of the BCS Group, which operates internationally on offsite utility procurement and delivery strategies – offsite generally referring to the project utility networks adopted, owned and operated by statutory regulated undertakers or third-party independent network providers.”
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