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Industrie 4.0

Data centers are a billion-euro market in Germany

In 2017, the German market for data centers broke the billion euro barrier. Yet, the country is lagging behind in comparison with other countries, and high energy prices and lengthy approval procedures are hampering growth.

31 Jan. 2018 David Schahinian

According to a study conducted by the Borderstep Institute for Innovation and Sustainability on behalf of digital association Bitkom , data centers in Germany are continuing to see double-digit growth. In addition, the number of data center jobs has risen by 15,000 since 2014 to 130,000 full-time employees today; a further 85,000 jobs are directly linked to data centers. Current trends such as cloud computing, Industry 4.0, and big data are the main drivers of development. "All signs point to growth over the coming years, too," says Bitkom President Achim Berg.

However, Germany’s share of the global market is shrinking, due to a significantly more dynamic development of capacities in the US and Asia. "Germany’s competitiveness here hinges heavily on energy costs," continues Berg. Lengthy approval procedures have also hampered growth. Germany scores good to very good on energy supply security, Internet connection, data privacy, and legal security.

In summer 2017, the Borderstep Institute published a study that focused on energy demand in data centers. The result: Energy demand is rising steadily, despite significant improvements in efficiency. The institute sees a need here for innovations, such as the utilization of waste heat.