Data Center News Roundup: UK Opposition Party Promises to Remove Construction ‘Barriers’

In this week's top data center news, the UK’s Labour Party said it would enable the construction of more facilities, and the industry’s power demands are under scrutiny.

James Walker

June 14, 2024

4 Min Read
Data center news roundup

With data center news moving faster than ever, we want to make it easy for industry professionals to cut through the noise and find the most important stories of the week. 

The Data Center Knowledge News Roundup brings you the latest news and developments across the data center industry – from investments and mergers to security threats and industry trends. 

To keep up to date with all things data centers, subscribe to the Data Center Knowledge newsletter to get content straight to your inbox. 

UK Developments 

Ahead of the UK general election next month, data centers featured in the Labour Party’s manifesto for the nation’s tech sector. 

In widely reported comments this week, Peter Kyle, the shadow science, innovation, and technology secretary, said his party would “unblock tech barriers” that would enable the construction of more data centers, should it win the election. This includes new projects on green belt land. 

The Labour spokesperson said that lifting the construction barriers would enable the country to address the current shortage of data centers and meet rising demand for cloud computing and AI services. 

While many data center pros would no doubt welcome the news, developing on green belt land remains a controversial issue. 

Related:Why Communities Are Protesting Data Centers – And How the Industry Can Respond

Indeed, as data center growth continues, opposition from some local communities is rising. This week, we took a closer look at why people are protesting and how the industry can effectively respond to their concerns

“Going forward, understanding and addressing the concerns of protesters should be a priority for the data center industry if it wants to keep expanding without having to fight local communities every step of the way,” said Data Center Knowledge writer Christopher Tozzi. 

Power Stance 

The growth of the data center industry is intrinsically linked to energy and power supply. And with reports warning that the share of global electricity consumption used by data centers could soar from 2% today to more than 20% by 2030, this issue is becoming increasingly critical. 

Amid the soaring energy demand, the South African government said it wants data center providers to reduce their dependency on the national grid. 

As reported by MyBroadband this week, South Africa’s National Policy on Cloud and Data urges providers to explore and implement additional alternative energy resources to prevent downtime. 

“Currently, South Africa faces electricity supply challenges,” the report said. “Given that data centers operate 24 hours a day and consume vast amounts of electricity, reliance solely on the national grid may be insufficient.” 

Related:New Data Center Developments: June 2024

Elsewhere, experts have warned that Malaysia’s push to attract data center investments could strain the Southeast Asian nation’s own water and electricity supplies, The Straits Times reported this week.

Going Up 

In data center development news, Compass Datacenters has started to transform the former Sears headquarters site in Hoffman Estates, Illinois into a hyperscale data center campus. 

Compass said it would construct “five hyperscale data centers” on the nearly 200-acre site. Construction of the campus will generate 1,000 local jobs. Once operational, the project will represent approximately $10 billion in local investment, according to the Dallas-based operator. 

Meanwhile, CyrusOne filed plans with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to “up-fit” an existing facility in the city of Richardson, near Dallas. Costs are estimated to be around $80 million. 

In other news, CIM Group closed on a $125 million loan commitment to fund the construction of Applied Digital’s high-performance computing campus in Ellendale, North Dakota, while Kinetic Seas said it has completed phase one of its planned AI data center in Oak Brook, Illinois. 

In Spain, Prime Data Centers announced plans for a 40 MW data center in Madrid, and Microsoft opened its first cloud region in the country to “accelerate the development of the AI economy.”

Hot Chips 

Finally, Fierce Network published an interesting piece this week on how some data center operators want designers to let them run chips at higher temperatures.

“It might sound counterintuitive, but using hotter liquids to cool high-power chips could be the answer to sustainably supporting monster compute loads,” wrote Fierce Network’s Diana Goovaerts. 

The article asserts that current demands for colder water to cool high-power chips are unsustainable, increasing energy consumption and complicating waste heat recycling efforts. 

According to one data center operator, the use of warmer water would lessen the burden on cooling infrastructure and enhance sustainability.

Other Great Reads on DCK This Week 

US Energy Experts Highlight Potential for Nuclear-Powered Data Centers. Virtual power plants, load shedding, and small modular reactors are intriguing concepts, but what are the realities for the data center industry? 

Apple Jumps Into the AI Arms Race With OpenAI Deal. AI functions that are too complicated to run on phones will be run in special data centers, the company said. 

How Operators, Vendors Hope to Tackle Data Center Supply Chain Woes. An integrated and adaptive supply chain is needed to compete effectively in the data center and AI market. 

Asia-Pacific Data Center Deals Run Hot. Demand for Asia-Pacific data center assets is running well ahead of supply. 

Observability Takes Center Stage as IT Braces for Technological Shifts. IT and telecom should be more advanced than other industry sectors, and yet those two industries have more outages than others. 

About the Author(s)

James Walker

James Walker is the Senior Editor of Data Center Knowledge. He has more than 16 years of experience writing for business and technology publications, with a focus on translating technical issues to make them more accessible and engaging.

Before joining DCK, James was editor of The Daily Swig, an award-winning cybersecurity news website, and his work has been featured in The Times and BBC Online, among other publications. His first full-length book, HIT: Once Upon a Field, was published in 2023.

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