Olkaria Ecocloud Data Center, the first fully green data centre in Africa, powered entirely by geothermal energy has been unveiled in Kenya.
On Thursday, the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) and the Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA), along with local investors, broke ground for the $20 million Olkaria Ecocloud Data Center, in Nakuru County setting the stage for sustainable and clean industrialization. The green data centre is expected to have a consumption of 70 MW.
The Data Center is situated within KenGen’s Green Energy Park, a dedicated 342-hectare space designed to accommodate a mix of industrial and non-industrial activities. This move aims to stimulate industrialization in the region while providing a sustainable and clean source of geothermal energy.
The park comprises offices, data centres, research and development facilities, hospitality spaces, a visitor experience centre, and administrative and commercial facilities.
During the launch, Kenya’s Prime Cabinet Secretary, Musalia Mudavadi, acknowledged the country’s commitment to green energy and sustainability, citing the achievement of 93 per cent green energy production.
“Our government is keen to ensure that we shift away from facilities that grow our carbon footprint, that is the reason why we are working on the climate change amendment bill of 2023 to ensure that the law is crystallized in regard to facilitating the growth and development of the local carbon market, “added Mudavadi.
He also emphasized the necessity of enlarging Kenya’s data centres and rendering them environmentally friendly to mitigate potential environmental consequences. He noted that these centres could contribute to 13 per cent of global electricity consumption within the next decade.
“We will facilitate more green data centres as the traditional ones contribute more towards climate changes and global warming due to their high energy demand that results in gas emission,” he stated.
Other government dignitaries in attendance during the groundbreaking ceremony comprised Eliud Owalo, the Cabinet Secretary (CS) of ICT, Davis Chirchir, the CS for Energy, and Rebecca Miano, the CS for East Africa Community.
Reducing the energy consumption of data centres is a key focus for companies and governments seeking to minimize their carbon footprint and energy costs. Various strategies, such as improving energy efficiency, using renewable energy sources, and optimizing data centre design, are employed to address this issue.
Data centres are significant consumers of energy due to their high demand for power to operate servers, cooling systems, and other infrastructure.
According to the International Energy Agency, the estimated global data centre electricity consumption in 2022 was 240-340 TWh1, or around 1-1.3 per cent of global final electricity demand. Reducing the energy consumption of data centres is a key focus for companies and governments seeking to minimize their carbon footprint and energy costs.