Nigeria’s Data Center Industry Taps Latest in Energy-Efficient Technology

Nigeria’s fledgling information heart business displays the advantages of a recent begin, as corporations ranging from scratch reap the benefits of extra energy-efficient know-how, business executives say.

Reducing power consumption is a precedence for the tech sector world-wide, given the large quantity of energy wanted to maintain the world’s computer systems working. Data facilities, which generally devour massive quantities of power and water to maintain servers cool, are chargeable for 2% of all international greenhouse gasoline emissions, mentioned

Pankaj Sharma,

government vice chairman of Secure Power at

Schneider Electric,

an organization that specializes in maximizing the power effectivity and sustainability of information facilities and different buildings.

Energy effectivity is especially essential in African nations reminiscent of Nigeria, the place entry to energy methods traditionally has been restricted, in line with Paul-Francois Cattier, founding father of the Africa Data Centres Association, a commerce group.

“There is much more interest in sustainability here than you have in Europe because the power is always an issue,” mentioned Mr. Cattier, former vice chairman of Economic Development, Africa & Middle East for Schneider Electric.

The common energy utilization effectivity of African information facilities is 1.5 PUE, in line with Mr. Cattier. According to information from market and client analysis firm Statista, the typical international PUE in 2020 was 1.59. That quantity relies on a survey in which 445 respondents shared the typical PUE of their largest information heart. That means African information facilities are general 6% extra environment friendly than the worldwide common, regardless of the elevated power it requires to chill servers in particularly sizzling climates.

African information facilities are typically extra environment friendly than information facilities elsewhere as a result of they are typically newer, mentioned Mr. Cattier.

Lagos, Nigeria, has emerged as a metropolitan point of interest for Africa’s burgeoning tech scene, lifted by budding startup exercise and up to date investments by U.S. tech giants in the higher sub-Saharan Africa.

The continent may see 700 new information facilities constructed by 2030, in line with a report printed by Xalam Analytics, a digital financial system market researcher targeted on Africa and the Middle East, in partnership with the Africa Data Centres Association.

Nonetheless, Nigerian information heart operators face challenges. Frequent energy outages require information facilities to have excessive ranges of redundancy and excessive temperatures require extra power to maintain servers cool, in line with Mr. Sharma.

In some elements of the nation, terrorism, political corruption, and piracy create turbulence, though Lagos is a big and secure metropolis and safety isn’t sometimes a difficulty, mentioned Ayotunde Coker, chairman of the Africa Data Centres Association and chief government officer of the Rack Centre information heart in Nigeria.

Funke Opeke, founder and chief government officer of Nigerian information heart operator MainOne.



As the continent experiences a surge in information heart development, operators say they’re able to reap the benefits of technological advances over the previous decade which have elevated the power effectivity of information heart infrastructure, together with extra environment friendly cooling methods, energy distribution methods, and uninterruptible energy provide methods.

“We’re more greenfield, so we’re able to adopt the latest and the most efficient kind of technology,” mentioned

Funke Opeke,

founder and chief government officer of MainOne, a Nigerian firm which runs information facilities by way of its subsidiary MDXi. The time period “greenfield” refers to new development initiatives that aren’t pressured to depend on any present infrastructure.

New information facilities are higher at separating cold and hot air, key for extra environment friendly power use, mentioned Mr. Cattier. Data facilities constructed earlier than 2010 would have massive open rooms the place servers’ followers would suck in air to maintain them cool, after which sizzling air would come out the opposite aspect, ensuing in important mixing between the cold and warm air and lowered effectivity for the cooling course of, he mentioned.

Now, these rooms are designed in order that chilly air is blown into one aisle and sizzling air is blown out at one other aisle, and every aisle may be enclosed to maintain the cold and warm air separate, mentioned Dr. Coker.

Another development entails the information heart’s uninterruptible energy provide, which retains operations working when there’s a downside with the first energy supply, in line with Mr. Sharma. In older information facilities, use of the backup was an all-or-nothing proposition which tended to waste energy. Now, backup energy may be drawn in smaller increments, which wastes much less power, he mentioned.

Brownfield information facilities, or these constructed with older infrastructure, in different elements of the world may be retrofitted with this newer know-how, in line with Rob Brothers, program vice chairman for the Datacenter and Support Services Program at market researcher International Data Corp. Data facilities sometimes retrofit each 15 to twenty years, updating some 60% to 75% of their infrastructure, he mentioned.

Nigerian information heart operators are working to handle different sustainability challenges, reminiscent of lowering their reliance on diesel gas.

Write to Isabelle Bousquette at

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