Germany offers data center operators only mediocre framework conditions. This is the conclusion reached by the consulting company Arcadis in its Data Center Location Index 2021. It has examined the location conditions in 50 established and emerging IT nations. At the same time, Germany is one of the most attractive data center locations in Europe due to the high demand for data, according to the analysts.
In the global comparison, the USA is leading, followed by Singapore and Japan. This is followed by Northern Europe: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the United Arab Emirates, Finland, France and Switzerland complete the top 10. The Federal Republic of Germany landed in 26th place. In front of it are, among others, Great Britain (13), Luxembourg (17), the Netherlands (19), Poland (20), Estonia (23), Austria (24) and Russia (25) one, behind her the tax haven Ireland (28), Lithuania (29) Spain (30), Italy (31), Belgium (32), Iceland (36), Portugal (37) and the Czech Republic (38).
In addition to the reliability, the type and costs of the energy supply, the duration of the approval processes, cybersecurity, data protection and the regulations for the protection of privacy are part of the framework conditions, as well as operating costs, government incentives and possible environmental impacts.
Attractive due to high data demand
Infrastructural, political and constitutional aspects as well as the existence of many different critical applications that require proximity to the customer speak in favor of Germany as a location. In addition, there is great demand for data in the most populous country in Europe and the world’s fourth largest economy. The pluses also include energy security through stable networks, high mobile broadband usage, cybersecurity and the increasing share of renewable energy sources in the electricity mix.
The mixture of secure power supply and a high proportion of renewable energy sources helps data center operators to balance their extremely high energy requirements and their reputation as a responsible provider. The disadvantages of Germany as a location include, above all, the high energy prices as well as the lengthy, complex approval processes and the associated requirements.
Most of the data centers located in Germany can be found in and around Frankfurt am Main. The world’s largest Internet node DE-CIX is located there with an average data volume of 6 TBit / s. Peripheral locations are increasingly moving into the focus of operators due to the preference for locations with renewable energies and alternative cooling options, edge computing and the limited expansion capacities in the Frankfurt region.
In the Data Center Location Index 2021, the locations examined are rated based on eight criteria, which are divided into indicators on the supply and demand side. The supply side includes per capita gross domestic product, the handling of building permits, the price of electricity, energy security and cybersecurity. On the demand side, there are the prevalence of mobile broadband connections in the population, the size of the domestic market and the average download speed. The supply and demand indicators each made up half of the assessment and all factors were compiled from publicly available sources.