China to use renewable resources for data centers’ expansion — Analysis

Rich renewable energy resources in the country’s north are expected to prop up the project

The Chinese government has given the green light to the establishment of four mega-clusters of data centers in the north of the country as China’s existing data centers are finding it increasingly difficult to expand further.

On Wednesday, the plan was revealed and focused on the Northern Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Gansu, Gansu, and Southwest Guizhou regions. Chinese officials noted that these areas, which have abundant renewable energy resources and offer the opportunity for data centers to become green.

In fact, some of China’s western and northern regions already host solar- or wind-powered data centers, which predominantly serve the more developed and populated coastal regions in the east. Traffic latency is still an issue, as the data centers are located many hundred miles from the coast.

The Chinese authorities didn’t specify how they would circumvent the problem by creating new clusters.

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The news comes as the existing data centers in China’s east are being constrained by government curbs on energy consumption, meaning that they cannot expand further. Chinese authorities called on large coastal cities to relocate data centers under water in an effort to reduce the amount of energy required to cool them.

China has not slowed down data centers, but that doesn’t mean it is. Beijing revealed ambitious plans in November to create a huge big data industry that will be worth 3 trillion Yuan ($470 billion) by 2025.

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