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Data centre boom expected in Europe

Some 100 new projects due to be introduced, with most based in so-called tier 2 markets


Pete Carvill

A new report has outlined scenarios in which revenues from data centres within Europe could rise by nearly 60% in the next four years.

That is one of the outcomes laid out in Data Centre Europe – Outlook and Forecast – 2022 to 2026, published by ResearchandMarkets. The firm says that current revenues in this space are €11.1bn and could rise to €17.5bn by the beginning of 2026. Meanwhile, the company predicts the European public cloud revenues are liable to increase 44% over the same period, from €71.6bn to €103.1bn.

This, says ResearchandMarkets, underlines the attractiveness of the European data centre market.

It said in a statement: “Some 100 new data centre projects are due to be introduced over the period, with most located in the new so-called Tier 2 markets – away from the Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, and Paris (Flap) markets. Locations set to see new DC growth include Warsaw, Rome, Milan, Zurich, Barcelona, Madrid, and Lisbon.”

It added: “There are acquisitions of existing data centre providers taking place, of Verne Global (Iceland), DigiPlex (Nordics), Green Mountain (Norway), SuperNap (Italy) & at North (Iceland), usually with a plan to expand its presence internationally.”

The report was put together to look at 17 European countries, around 670 data centre providers, and over 1,400 data centre facilities.

There seems to be an increasing amount of concentration from investors on the data centre space, particular in Europe. A recent briefing from the German firm TaylorWessing says that from an investment perspective, money moving in this direction has shifted from being a niche product to being increasingly attractive.

Dr Carsten Schutz and Dr. Sabine Kaben, partners at the Hamburg-based firm, wrote: “With more and more enterprises outsourcing their technical infrastructure and business models and consumers moving into the cloud, the demand is increasing exponentially and likely to continue that way in the coming years.”

About 25% of the data centre market generated revenue (around $316bn worldwide in 2021) is attributable to Europe, write the pair.

What is more, they add: “The most important infrastructures of the last century were roads, rails, bridges, air- and seaports. The most important infrastructures of this century, due to increasing digitisation in all fields, are cellular towers, terrestrial and subsea fibre as well as data centres to host the servers, which store and process the generated data. While the worldwide generated data was 33 zettabyte in 2018 it is expected to grow to up to 175 zettabyte in 2022, requiring extensive additional data infrastructure to transmit and store this data, including more data centre capacity.”

What is a zettabyte? It is a unit of measurement for computers of the future. If one gigabyte (GB) is equal to 1,000 megabytes – and one terabyte (TB) is the equivalent of 1,000 GB – one zettabyte is equal to one billion TBs.