Google makes €1 billion investment in German data centres, renewables


Google has announced plans to invest 1 billion euros (1.18 billion dollars) in the construction of two new data centres: one in Hanau near Frankfurt, and one in the greater Berlin area.

The US internet giant also plans to expand the amount of renewable energy available to power the centres, the firm announced on Tuesday.

The data facility in Hanau is only 20 kilometres away from the world’s largest internet hub DE-CIX, said Philipp Justus, Google’s head of Central Europe.

The four-storey building with a usable area of around 10,000 square metres will be fully operational next year, he added.

In parallel, Google will set up a new “cloud region” in Berlin-Brandenburg, although it did not specify exactly where the new data centre would be.

The main purpose of Google’s cloud regions is to bring the company’s own services closer to its customers. This improves data speeds considerably compared to a transatlantic data connection.

Using data centres in the United States can also cause legal and regulatory complications when it comes to services for European customers.

A significant part of Google’s investment goes into the production of renewable energy, because its data centres are also huge consumers of electricity.

Its local energy partner Engie Deutschland will feed more than 140 megawatts (MW) of solar and wind energy into the German grid in the coming years, Google said.

This included a new 39-megawatt photovoltaic plant and the maintenance of 22 wind farms.

This is to ensure that “from 2022 onwards, around 80 per cent of the energy supplied to Google’s infrastructure will come from CO2-free sources at any given hour.”

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