Data centre dealmaking shot to new heights in 2021. The global boom has continued so far in 2022 and looks set to continue this year and onwards, despite economic and geopolitical headwinds.
The factors driving this are well known, among them content distribution (streaming in particular), social media and ecommerce – along with significant drivers of growth such as increasing demand for cloud services. These flourished during the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to do so. Looking ahead, the rise of the Internet of Things, greater use of Artificial Intelligence, 5G rollout, even greater cloud usage and the dawn of the metaverse promise to spur data growth – and the need for data centres to provide the backbone infrastructure to support this – to ever higher levels.
Our report, The meteoric rise of the data centre: Key drivers behind global demand, examines the reasons behind this surge in activity and the increasingly significant role ESG has to play when making investments.
This research, in association with Inframation, involved a survey of 100 senior executives from infrastructure, equity and debt provider firms and data centre operators around the world, in order to gain direct industry insight into the drivers behind increasing demand, the obstacles experienced when making investments and the outlook for investment opportunity across different regions in the next 24 months.
- Meteoric rise in data centre investments - The volume of investment in global data centres more than doubled year-on-year in 2021, rising to USD59.5 billion. The total number of transactions also increased, rising by 64% to 117. The global boom has continued so far in 2022 and looks set to continue this year and onwards, despite economic and geopolitical headwinds.
- ESG is a growing priority - Almost all (94%) senior executives say ESG has become more important in the past 24 months. Yet, senior executives in Europe and the United States pay closer attention to ESG than those in Asia-Pacific.
- Geographical shift in investments - China, India, and the United States topped the table for expected investment in the next 24 months.
- Energy security holds high value - 90% of equity investors, 89% of developers and 85% of debt providers would pay a premium to invest in a site with good energy security.
We also held a panel discussion and live Q&A with senior industry experts on Tuesday 14 June, to assess the findings of this report.
In association with