Google to Spend $1.1 Billion in Finnish Data Centre for AI Expansion

By Thea Felicity

May 20, 2024 09:35 AM EDT

FRANCE-TECHNOLOGY-AI
Guests attend the inauguration of a Google Artificial Intelligence (AI) hub in Paris on February 15, 2024.
(Photo : Photo by ALAIN JOCARD/AFP via Getty Images)

Google's substantial investment of €1 billion ($1.1 billion) to bolster its data center campus in Finland is a significant move. As reported by Reuters, this massive financial commitment is not only aimed at expanding its artificial intelligence (AI) business in Europe but also at fortifying its key operations, thereby making a substantial impact on the region's tech industry.

Google's strategic decision to expand its data center campus in Finland is not without reason. The Nordic countries, including Finland, have emerged as prime locations for data centers, thanks to their cooler climate, tax incentives, and abundant renewable energy sources. This choice not only benefits Google's operations but also aligns with the company's commitment to environmental sustainability. 

While Finland's choice to use renewable power for data centers has its merits, it has also sparked concerns from its Nordic neighbors, Sweden and Norway. These countries argue that renewable power could be better utilized for producing high-value products like green steel, raising questions about the balance between economic growth and environmental sustainability in the region.

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Google and other Tech Giants in Finland 

According to Yahoo News, Finland's wind power capacity surged 75% to 5,677 megawatts in 2022, resulting in occasional negative electricity prices on windy days. This excess renewable energy makes Finland an attractive location for data centers like Google's, which secures wind power through long-term contracts. 

Analysts predict a significant increase in data center power consumption due to the rapid expansion of AI. 

Google cited the renewable energy trend as a key factor in its investment decision. The company's Hamina data center in Finland already operates with 97% carbon-free energy. Ultimately, the company aims to achieve net-zero emissions across all operations and its value chain by 2030.

In addition to its Finnish billion-dollar investment, Google recently announced plans to construct new data centers in the Netherlands and Belgium, although no details have been revealed yet.

READ MORE: Amazon, Google Suspend Green Card Applications Amid Mass Layoffs in IT Departments

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