Computers are taking over the earth, but not in the way we imagined. Due to data centers in various parts of London, electricity consumption has increased dramatically and now there may be a ban on building housing here for more than a decade. The capital’s power grid is reaching its limits – a huge number of data centers require too much energy and consume the available fiber optic cables.
The problem for the first time was reported by Financial Times. The media received the letters that the city hall sent to the developers. In them, the authorities warned that some areas will not be able to connect to the network until 2027-2030.
“Major new applicants to the distribution network, including housing developments, commercial premises and industrial activities… will have to wait several years to receive new electricity connections,” one of the letters said.
In recent years, several powerful data centers have been built in west London. In particular, they appeared along the M4 highway, where Microsoft, Oracle, Amazon, HP, Sony, Dell, Huawei, and others have campuses. It takes as much energy to power their servers as small cities. The London government confirms that the increased demand for electricity was mainly caused by data centers.
“The Mayor is very concerned that electricity capacity constraints are creating a significant challenge for developers securing timely connections to the electricity network, which could affect the delivery of thousands of much-needed homes,” says spokesman for the Mayor of London.
The restrictions have affected areas that together contain about 5,000 homes and make up about 11% of the city’s housing stock. London is experiencing a housing crisis, and the city government has promised to solve it by building housing. However, data centers are now questioning this possibility.