The meteoric rise of the data centre

Report 15 June

The meteoric rise of the data centre

Global Data Centre Investment Outlook

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 data centre sector stands out as a beacon of growth in these current uncertain times. Dealmaking broke new records in 2021 and this trend is continuing in 2022. Our global survey suggests that 2022 is likely to be another exceptional year.

Why is this and what is driving this data centre growth? At a macro level, underpinning this is the exponential growth of data. This shows no signs of slowing – indeed, all the evidence points to a vast increase in the need to store, manage and process data.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Deal activity in global data centre infrastructure surged last year. The total value of investment in global data centre infrastructure more than doubled year-on-year to USD59.5 billion while the number of transactions reached 117 in 2021, a 64% annual increase. This extraordinary growth is expected to continue – in the first half of 2022 we have already seen 41 transactions worth USD21.3 billion. This is double the USD10.6 billion total over the same period in 2021.
  • The boom is expected to continue. 45% of developers, 56% of debt providers and 67% of equity investors say they plan to invest in or finance four or more data centre projects in the next 24 months, highlighting the confidence in the sector.
  • ESG is rapidly rising up the agenda. Almost all respondents say that scrutiny and due diligence surrounding ESG (environmental, social and governance) issues increased when considering data centre investment and/or development in the past 24 months (94%) and expect it to increase over the next 24 months (99%).
  • 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.
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