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4 June 2024

Industry Insights

Singapore's Strategy: The Green Data Centre Roadmap

At the annual Asia Tech x Singapore event this year, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Heng Swee Keat announced an investment of nearly S$300 million into Singapore’s National Quantum Strategy (NQS). This investment aims to bolster Singapore's position as a leading hub for quantum technologies over the next five years.

DPM Heng also launched the Green Data Centre Roadmap to guide digital sustainability and foster green growth in data centres, supporting AI and compute developments. Furthermore, he announced the release of the Model AI Governance Framework and the development of the Digital Forum for Small States (DFOSS) AI Governance Playbook with Rwanda to advance AI safety.

The Green Data Centre Roadmap lays out a comprehensive strategy for fostering sustainable growth in data centres across Singapore — within which, Sustainable Metal Cloud features as a case study. This initiative highlights the crucial role of energy efficiency, incorporating green energy, and continuous innovation within the data centre ecosystem.

The transformative potential of digitalisation

The digital economy now contributes around 17% to Singapore's GDP and is poised for further growth. This expansion underlines the necessity for robust and sustainable computing infrastructure. Singapore's National AI Strategy underscores AI's potential in driving future economic growth and emphasises the importance of sustainable AI infrastructure.
Singapore is a key regional hub for data centres with a capacity of more than 1.4 gigawatts. However, Singapore’s inherent limitations call for a need to manage resource consumption effectively. The roadmap aims to add at least 300 megawatts of capacity, prioritising energy efficiency and deploying green energy.
The roadmap encourages the adoption of energy-efficient hardware and software.

Key initiatives include:

  • Upgrading mechanical and electrical systems
  • Optimising the energy use of server and compute equipment
  • Applying Tropical DC standards to increase operating temperatures
  • Implementing digital twins to improve DC operations and management

Green energy for sustainable growth

A significant aspect of the roadmap is the push towards low-carbon energy sources like bioenergy, hydrogen, and vertical photovoltaics. The plan supports the creation of a demand-supply cycle for green energy, facilitated by partnerships between DC operators and energy suppliers.

The Sustainable Tropical Data Centre Testbed (STDCT) fosters the development of innovative cooling technologies. Additionally, the Green Computing Funding Initiative (GCFI) and green software trials aim to enhance energy efficiency in software and computing resources, promoting sustainable practices across the sector.

The roadmap also addresses the significant water usage in data centres by promoting Water Usage Effectiveness (WUE) and optimising cooling tower water consumption. Innovative technologies like electrooxidation are being deployed to enhance water efficiency.

Singapore is committed to attracting data centres equipped with best-in-class technologies. The roadmap includes incentives for upgrading to more efficient IT equipment and adopting forward-looking policies, ensuring that data centres remain at the forefront of sustainability.

You can access the full report by The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) here for more details.

IMDA Factsheet: Charting green growth pathways at scale for data centres in Singapore here


Team SMC