Norway’s Oil and Energy Department is about to take a stronger stand on the power guzzling data centres, after the latest deal to put a new one for the Chinese social media platform TikTok in Hamar got a lot of criticism.

Announced 8 March, TikTok is signed an initial contract with Green Mountain data service company for 3 buildings and 90 MW of capacity, with the option to extend capacity up to 150 MW by 2025. This equals 1% of the total electricity consumption of the whole of Norway, for one centre alone.

The Norwegian magazine Teknisk Ukeblad was first with reporting “a new look on priorities” announced by Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland. Normally it is up to municipalities to decide whether to allow a data centre to establish itself or not.

Traditional industries and environmentalists

The big surge in data centres and their power needs has weirdly aligned the traditional industries with the green advocators, albeit for different reasons. While many of those more concerned with the environment are simply against, the big industries fear they will be put in second place by the data centres. Many of them have, as well as data centres and cloud/internet companies, have requested licenses for more electricity usage for their expansions or activities.

Currently the whole of Norway yearly uses about 140 TWh of electricity. Half of it is enough for the about 4,3 million households. The TikTok data centre in Hamar will, at full capacity, need the equal amount of 70 TWh, according to released data. The new location will be ready by November 2023, according to Green Mountain. | © 2023 Marcel Burger, Press image of computer rendering of the OSL2-Hamar/TikTok data centre by Green Mountain