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Google joined other Big Tech giants with a 4.5-billion-dollar data centre in Denmark 

First Facebook, then Apple and now Google. Big Tech has invested billions of dollars in renewable energy-driven data centres in Denmark. Which makes you wonder: what makes Denmark so attractive for these companies? 
All the e-mails, the hundreds of newsletters you receive, but never get the time to read, the recipes you are too lazy to save, but keep googling. Where are they all stored? Soon, a few billion of them will be stored at Taulov, a small town in Fredericia, Denmark, at a brand-new Google data centre. 
 
The data centres are the heart of the Google machine. Every second they pump out all the essential information that keeps everything from Google search, Gmail, Cloud-services and YouTube up and running. 
 
Server uptime means everything for companies like Google. Just imagine one morning, having clocked in at work, enjoying your favourite coffee and suddenly realising you could not access your e-mails. Disaster would ensue. Now imagine the situation being the same for every worker at your company. Productivity would be impossible.
 
When unfathomable amounts of money are on the line, choosing a location for a new data centre is no easy feat, but Denmark seems to be doing something right. In recent years, several data centres have been established across the country. Facebook completed theirs in 2019. Apple’s data centre is expected to be done in 2020. And now Google is planning on getting theirs finished in 2021. But what is it, that makes Denmark such an attractive location for data centres? 

Clean energy demands are easily met 

One aspect that makes Denmark stand out is the reliability of energy. Denmark has a state-of-the-art smart grid infrastructure, securing a very high energy supply. In 2019, Denmark had an impressive 99.996% power grid uptime. At the same time, the energy is relatively cheap when compared with most other countries. 
Yet, the days where providing cheap and reliable energy was enough to be competitive is over. Modern businesses do not just want effective or cheap energy. They demand the right kind of energy: clean, sustainable, green energy. And Denmark is a world-leader in providing clean energy and is aiming for a 100% renewable power grid by 2027. 

For Google, Denmark’s long-standing commitment to renewable energy was of great importance when choosing to place their data centre in Denmark. When the hardworking men and woman wearing brightly coloured safety helmets are done fixing up the 46,000m2 data centre, Google is committed to match its energy use with 100 percent carbon-free energy within a few years. 

This is only possible through the many Danish renewable energy projects like onshore wind, offshore wind and solar energy. And the benefits are mutual. While the top-of-the-line Danish energy infrastructure helps enable the tech companies, these in turn help by investing in expanding the Danish green energy capacity further. Thus, paving the road for even more cleantech business in Denmark and improving the ecosystem for the future. A recent example is Google’s investment in 5 Danish solar parks in 2019. 

Denmark’s focus on renewable energy is also strongly represented at the Danish universities. This ensures that companies have access to world-class researchers and a large talent pool of committed, innovative and highly educated workers focused on cleantech. 

Furthermore, digital connectivity is of utmost importance for data centre operators - and Denmark does indeed provide top class digital infrastructure. 

Several very extensive and up-to-date fibre grids are available across Denmark. Denmark is connected directly to the US, UK and the Netherlands by means of new high-capacity subsea fibre cables. And plenty of fibre capacity is available across the Danish/German border as well as to the neighbouring Nordic countries of Norway and Sweden.


Stable and reliable is cool   

One thing is immediately noticeable when entering a data centre: the noise from the thousands of cooling fans. The fans maintain a constant airflow, which is vital in keeping all the delicate electronics sufficiently cool. When electronic components heat up, they decrease in reliability and perform more inefficiently. So, the hotter the climate, the more money is required to cool down the data centre. This, for once, is where the Danish weather and climate comes in handy. Danes often joke about Denmark being too cool, grey and having a boring and consistent weather. Yet from a business perspective, this is a reliable enabler. Because the cool weather and climate allow for low energy cooling all year round. 

Reliable and stable are in general key words when describing Denmark. And it turns out, that being stable and reliable is an attractive factor for Big Tech and cleantech companies in general. 
Stability ensures very low risk when investing a large amount of money in a business complex. And stability and reliability also ensure low amounts of bureaucracy and process when planning a large-scale construction project. 

To make the process of investing in Denmark as smooth as possible, Invest in Denmark stands ready to help. In the case of Google, Invest in Denmark helped with site selection, establishing contact with local authorities and helped make every process quick and easy. And with Facebook recently expanding their data centre in Denmark with a third server hall of approx. 30.000 square meters, and Google working at building another site at Kassø, Aabenraa, there is still plenty of Danish potential to tap into for cleantech companies from all over the world. 
 

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