Skip to content


Data centers driving the 4th Industrial Revolution

AI is driving a fundamental shift for data centers with demands for more compute power presenting challenges in sustainability, compute density, and power availability. Verne CEO, Dominic Ward, explains why companies like Verne, and the Nordic region as a whole, are adapting to AI with innovative solutions and preparing for the next phase of data center evolution.


Throughout history, we have witnessed significant shifts in technology and innovation. The last 50 years alone have seen the advent of the personal computer, the internet, and smartphones, each revolutionising the way we live and work.  

The personal computer brought computational power to individuals and small businesses, democratising access to information and enabling a new era of productivity and creativity. The internet connected the world, allowing instant communication, global commerce, and the sharing of knowledge on an unprecedented scale. Smartphones combined computing and connectivity, transforming communication, entertainment, information access, and are now integral part of daily life. 

At each step along the way, we’ve seen how the convergence of innovation, accessibility, and user adoption drives transformative change. It reshapes industries, economies, and social structures. These inflection points not only build upon each other, but also create new opportunities and challenges, pushing the boundaries of what is possible and continually redefining the future. The data center industry is at one such inflection point today.  

The rapid growth of artificial intelligence (AI) is fundamentally changing the way data centers are designed and operated. AI is enhancing healthcare diagnostics, transforming education, improving customer experiences, detecting banking fraud, aiding the fight against climate change and so much more. With these rapidly growing use cases, increased demand for compute power creates increased demand for data processing and storage. Savills predicts that as many as 3,000 new data center facilities will be needed in Europe in the next few years. IDC estimates that the growth of AI will require storage capacity in data centers to reach 21.0 zettabytes by 2027, multiples of current capacity. 

This underscores the central role of data centers in modern infrastructure. However, it also amplifies existing challenges confronting data center operators, particularly in areas such as sustainability, compute density, and power availability. As demand grows, so too do the pressures to address these issues to ensure the long-term viability and effectiveness of data center operations. 


Sustainability is a pressing concern as the environmental impact of data centers continues to grow rapidly, and accordingly, comes under scrutiny. Data centers are notoriously energy-intensive, consuming vast amounts of electricity and contributing to global carbon emissions. Operators are facing greater pressure to adopt more sustainable practices, such as using renewable energy sources and efficient cooling technologies, to mitigate their environmental impact. 

Compute density requirements 

As AI applications become more pervasive, data centers are also under pressure to scale their infrastructure to accommodate these high-density requirements. This includes not only installing more powerful hardware but also ensuring that the infrastructure can support the increased heat output and power draw. Non-trivial innovations such as liquid cooling and advanced airflow management are becoming increasingly important to address these challenges. 

Power availability issues 

Power availability is critical, especially in regions where the infrastructure may not support the growing energy demands. In many locations, the existing power grid infrastructure is insufficient to meet the needs of burgeoning data center facilities. Even in developed markets, the competition for power from other sectors, regulatory constraints, and the push for renewable energy integration create complexities in ensuring a stable power supply. 

The Nordic advantage 

The Nordic data center market has risen significantly in prominence over the past decade, establishing itself as a credible and sustainable market alternative to the historic core data center markets. This rise is largely due to the naturally cool climate and abundance of renewable energy resources in the Nordics, particularly hydroelectric, wind and geothermal power, which align with global sustainability goals and helps to reduce the carbon footprint of data center operations.  

Perhaps equally importantly, Nordic countries also have highly resilient and stable energy grid infrastructure. This robustness is crucial for supporting the continuous and growing power demands of modern data centers and in particular AI compute. As AI applications rapidly proliferate, they place an additional and immediate strain on power resources, making access to stable energy supplies critical moving forward.  

The Verne advantage 

The data center market is undergoing an extraordinary transformation. With AI driving unprecedented levels of computational power, innovation in data center design and density is going to be faster than any of us expect.  

The next five years will be pivotal as the industry transitions from air cooled to liquid cooled racks. Density will explode as we move from 25kW racks today to the 100kW to 200kW racks that will be demanded of AI. Yet with any period of transition comes uncertainty. Liquid cooling technology is a prime example of uncertainty as the market has not yet defined which technology will be adopted. 

At Verne, we have been at the forefront of this data center infrastructure evolution for more than a decade, specializing in constructing facilities designed for dense workloads. We empower our customers to scale as densely as needed, ensuring they remain competitive in an increasingly demanding landscape. As hardware continues to evolve, Verne is ready to guide our customers through the shifting paradigms of data center infrastructure. We are committed to meeting the escalating demands of AI with innovative, efficient, and environmentally responsible solutions.