February 24, 2024

Google To Invest $1 Billion In A New Data Center in the UK

Google, on 18th January, announced its latest investment in the UK — a 33-acre data center in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire.

The tech giant believes that as the world moves towards AI-driven technologies, there should be enough technical infrastructure to support the innovations.

Once the data center is up and running, it will add to the computing capacity and help millions of people using Google’s services in the UK and abroad.

Google’s Carbon-free Energy Goal

Google has set an ambitious goal of running all data centers and other functions on carbon-free energy by 2030. In fact, in 2022, the computing giant reached 64% carbon-free energy on an hourly basis.

As a pioneer in computing infrastructure, Google’s data centers are some of the most efficient in the world.Google blog

Plus, Google had entered into a power purchase agreement for offshore wind energy in Scotland. Signed with ENGIE for its Moray West wind farm, this agreement will ensure 90% carbon-free energy in the UK by 2025.

The company’s water consumption also increased by 22% in 2022.

Apart from this, Google is looking for resourceful methods to use the heat rendered by these data centers. It is planning to set up off-site heat recovery systems that will help capture this generated heat so that it can be used by the local community for household use.

However, Google’s 2023 Environmental Report revealed a 2% decrease in carbon-free energy usage in 2022, as compared to the previous year. Plus, there was a whopping 37% increase in emissions of scope 2 greenhouse gas.

These alarming trends seem to be a deviation from Google’s environment-first approach. However, one cannot disregard the amount of energy AI technologies demand. As tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Apple develop more AI products, the demand for clean energy will rise sharply.

Google’s Investments In The UK

This isn’t the first time Google has invested a hefty amount in the United Kingdom. In 2022, it purchased the Central Saint Giles in London’s West End to develop it as a state-of-the-art workspace for employees.

In December 2022, Google opened a new Accessibility Discovery Centre in London, with the aim of developing more accessibility tools to be incorporated into Google products, to make technology more reachable to those physically challenged.

Google’s trans-Atlantic cable named Grace Hopper landed in the UK in 2021. It connects Bude in the United Kingdom to New York and Bilbao in Spain.

These key investments show Google’s interest in the UK. After all, it generated £118 billion of UK economic activity in 2023 and serves around +1 million UK businesses.

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