Arcadis, the leading global Design & Consultancy organisation for natural and built assets, announced the release of its Data Center Location Index 2021, which lists the most favourable markets for localisation. The index covers 50 of the largest cities across six continents ranking optimal places to build data centres in the world. Asia-Pacific is well represented in the index, with 14 markets from the region featured on the list and strong performances from Singapore at number 2, and Hong Kong ranking number 12 worldwide.
The surge in demand for data centres is expected to rise in the next five years, driven by large-scale international cloud providers, as they expand aggressively across the major hubs in the region. Singapore in particular is well situated as a regional hub, due to the country’s leading position in internet connectivity, low energy prices, well-educated workforce, stable government, and robust local infrastructure. However, the report finds that there is an increasing challenge concerning the environmental impact of expanding beyond Singapore’s existing pool of more than 50 data centres, which is likely to be limited until the Government and developers can establish a coherent renewable energy plan.
Data centres are a core integral requirement for the facilitation of 5G network capabilities, cloud computing, big data analytics and artificial intelligence. In Hong Kong, the data centres market was worth US$883 million in 2018 and is projected to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate of 14% to reach US$1.7 billion by 2023. The city-state is well set up for further growth in the technology industry with a supportive government policy and the right infrastructure in place. However, the provision of suitable land for data centres development will be important if Hong Kong wants to establish itself as a data centres hub in Asia.
The Arcadis Data Center Location Index 2021 is based on each market’s performance across eight key criteria: GDP per capita, dealing with construction permits, price of electricity, energy security, cybersecurity, domestic market size, the number of mobile broadband subscriptions and mean download speed. The index provides insights that can be used to guide the decision-making process about where to establish a new facility. Additionally, the 2021 report outlines a roadmap for the process of building a new data centre and focuses on the significant current issues impacting the industry including climate change, the effects of COVID-19, and the growth of hyperscalers.
The full report can be viewed here.