The ease of doing business – the Norwegian Government’s new Data Centre Strategy
Last year I wrote an article on LinkedIn highlighting why I believed Norway was next as a potential Data Center Hub in Europe, and even if very biased, I listed 7 reasons to why.
The article can be found here – Is Norway Next?
- Cost of Power
- Availability of power
- Privacy regulations
All of these things are still valid and also confirmed in Cushman Wakefield Data Center Risk Index from 2016. The major change now, and which was visualized last week was that now even the Norwegian Government want data centres to be our next growth engine. The Norwegian economy and our sovereign fund are still amazing, but the shift over the last years is that the new Norwegian Ministry is ploughing more money into research and development, and looking more at other assets we have as a country up to what is in demand on a global scale.
When looking at the 7 areas above, and adding a few others, the Norwegian Ministry announced their National Data Center Strategy last week which can be found here – https://www.regjeringen.no/no/dokument/id2000006/?documenttype=dokumenter/planer&ownerid=709
For us in Green Mountain is was a fantastic day, as the Norwegian Government choose our DC1 as the location they found suited to launch this initiative – and what a fantastic job they have done in highlighting areas of improvement to hopefully secure international providers and clients to look to Norway. I have shaken my head in disbelief several times over the last decade about a government not adaptive to the IT industry’s rapid changes – but this time I was very happily surprised. This time the strategy goes across Departments, and 4 different departments have stated why this is an important growth engine, and what is needed to make it attractive for international players to establish and operate in Norway. Some say maybe late, and that Sweden and Denmark have succeeded – but sometimes it is good to be late, as we have learned from their successes and secured both the benefits and added a few more.
- It is a cross-department plan. Four different departments have been involved, all with their stakeholders supporting and documenting why it is important and what role their department can play in securing a successful establishment of data centres.
- If we are to ensure a sustainable welfare society, we need new industries that create jobs and increase value creation. Data centres are an exciting industry that can contribute to this,” says Minister of Industry, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (H).
- The government will support the industry to stimulate development, have a simple regulatory framework and keep costs down said Minister of Transport, Ketil Solvik-Olsen (FrP).
- We want shorter processing time and increased predictability in processing plan proposals and applications to the public, “says Monica Mæland (H), Municipal and Modernization Minister.
- Our renewable resources and a well-functioning energy sector are a major competitive advantage. Norwegian power supply is renewable, flexible, secure and has competitive prices,” says Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Søviknes (FrP).
So what have they come up with then in this plan, and support the 7 topics to why I belived Norway should be next as a data centre hub in Europe.
- Removal of property taxes
- 100 million to support investment in improved international fiber
- 40 million in 2018 to pilot an alternative core network
- New construction work rules to reduce bureaucracy and wait times
- Increased funding for innovation through 750 additional seats of IT studies
- Increased funding for Innovation Norway’s – Invest in Norway campaign
Also, the government in Norway has already reduced electricity taxes with 97 %, which mean that for a 100 MW facility a saving of 10 million annually in power costs alone by putting a data centre in Norway compared to EU average. Norway is about 7-12 % cheaper on electricity than Sweden and Denmark, with the addition of guaranteed 100 % renewable energy.
For me the conclusion should be easy, especially also because currently, Norway is one of the most forward-leaning countries in the world – even if we didn’t use to be in the data centre industry, we learn from our mistakes, correct and come out with good solutions. The Government of Norway have stepped up and showed why it should be easy, profitable and sustainable to build your data centre in Norway. Easy as 1, 2 and 3. Ask us; we are more than happy to show you how and what it will mean for you.