Singapore bans new data centers

The demand for data hubs is unbroken. But these consume more energy than the small city-state wants and can provide. The industry has to rethink.

Singapore wants to become more environmentally friendly: Workers lay cables for a floating solar system at sea off the north coast of the country.

EOne of the most important hubs for the global data industry is closing the gates: the Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore does not want to approve any more data centers for the foreseeable future. The reason: The heart of digital traffic consume an enormous amount of energy and pollute the environment. All over the world there is a search for ever larger capacities – data traffic is driven by Corona, digital currencies, but also the development of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. The Dutch metropolis of Amsterdam also banned new centers in 2019 – but it only lasted one year.

In the past, the metropolis of Southeast Asia has attracted one hundred data centers from Amazon, Facebook and Tencent, among others. The analysts from Cushman & Wakefield rank the small, wealthy city-state as number five among data centers worldwide, their competitors from Arcadis even see it as number two after America. The city on the island on the equator is considered safe for investors, but is also connected to the whole world via 24 submarine cables. A growing financial industry is located here. And the state has promoted the establishment of the industry so far.