Publishing Date: Jul 31, 2020

Datacentres for better security

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Global temporary power & temperature solutions company Aggreko has released a major new report – Mission Critical – providing unique insight of 700 data centre consultants across the Netherlands, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, the UK and Ireland.

The report has been written following a survey conducted by independent agency Censuswide on behalf of Aggreko.  The report highlights that the resilience of data centres across Europe is at risk as the industry looks towards a permanent renewable energy infrastructure.

The results found that 55% of those surveyed expressed at least some concern about the capabilities of the local grid and energy infrastructure’s ability to meet current demand. Among the least confident were respondents in the UK and the Netherlands.

Grid limitations were also the cause of most power outages across the regions for 60% of respondents. This could be one of the reasons for the high take up of renewable technology, with solar (70.4%) and wind (65.4%) popular among Europe. However, while the move towards renewables appears to be gathering pace, a number of barriers to adopting the technology were also highlighted, including energy storage and changing technology.

While the uptake in renewables is to be welcomed, it could leave the resilience of data centre facilities at risk, as Chris Rason, UK Managing Director of Aggreko, explains, “Renewable technology is a key driver for the data centre market, and our research shows that both solar and wind are popular technologies.

“However, as the use of these technologies increases, the risk to resilience also rises, especially during periods of intermittent energy supply. Energy storage is clearly a concern here, but as the use of diesel generators drops, operators and contractors need to look for greener solutions to ensure back-up power is available during periods of intermittence.”

On-site generation is also considered in the report, after more than 60% claimed that power security was a key driver to adopting a decentralised energy solution. Only one third (35.7%) admitted that on-site generation was in place as a revenue stream, while almost half (47%) cited rising energy costs as a key driver.

The report also includes an opinion piece from Zahl Limbuwala, Executive Director of Strategy & Market Engagement for CBRE Data Centre Solutions Group. He comments: “The findings from Aggreko’s survey provide further evidence of the rising challenges facing data centre operators. As the industry continues to grow, these challenges will only become more prevalent and perhaps a barrier to continued progress. Understanding the obstacles – and how to overcome them – is extremely important but we are confident our innovative industry can rise to the challenge.”

The survey results also show cause for concern when considering a data centre’s ability to cope with temperature demand. Last year saw Europe experience record high temperatures. With over 40% of respondents believing that first generation data centres are not able to meet temperature challenges, the question of whether facilities are able to cope with a warming planet continue to be raised.

Chris Rason adds, “Addressing the concerns of rising temperatures is already a priority for data centres and we have seen a trend towards free cooling being implemented in facilities. However, with temperatures on the increase, consultants are showing uncertainty as to whether facilities can indeed cope with the heat.

“Data centre operators and managers should ask themselves ‘can this facility cope with sustained periods of heat?’ If the answer is no, then considering alternative or temporary cooling solutions during peak periods should be encouraged.”

Aggreko is the world’s largest hire company, providing temporary power, battery storage, temperature control and testing solutions to data centres. Supporting a number of world’s leading data centre operators, Aggreko’s extensive experience covers all types of data centre, including hyperscales, edge and co-location.

The report – Mission Critical: Power resilience, competitiveness and sustainability in European Data Centres – can be downloaded on the Aggreko website. For more information, please visit

About Aggreko:

Aggreko is the world’s largest hire company, and provides temporary power, battery storage, temperate control and testing around the world to meet the ever-growing demands of data centres.

Downtime is not an option for data centres, and Aggreko’s support within this market spans the whole life cycle. From construction and planning through to emergency, maintenance and repair, its global team is on hand to support industry.

Harnessing innovation, Aggreko maintains a global reach and supplies portable equipment for a wide range of uses. As it strives to be the greenest rental company in the world, Aggreko always keeps on top of the latest technology and fuel choices, meaning its customers have access to the most efficient hire options for their energy and temperature control needs.

From hyperscales through to edge data centres, Aggreko has a wealth of experience and is on hand to provide its fast-track solutions. Operating in almost 100 countries, Aggreko has the unique capability of combining local knowledge and a global service. Whether that’s in the biggest cities, or the most remote areas in the world, Aggreko understands the local challenges and is able to support data centres at any time.

As a global provider, Aggreko is the only rental company able to offer the data centre industry with a standardised fleet, and as it has data centre specialists throughout the world, it can combine local knowledge with a global service. The ability to provide power, heating and cooling will continue to open up opportunity and create potential for individuals, communities, industries and societies all over the world.

Together and over time, Aggreko’s services have a big role to play in the data centre market.

For more information, please visit or contact Chris Collins, Sector Development Manager – Data Centres UK, Aggreko PLC, London on +44 (0) 7554 112667 or email

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