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17 Apr 2024

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Perth Positioned for Data Center Prosperity

If you're looking for a new and lovely place to visit, consider Perth.

Australia's fourth-largest city, and most important, its only large city in its western region, Perth has a California-type climate and may be emerging as a new data center hub. Its location places it several hours closer by plane to Singapore (see graphic at top of article), India, and the UAE than Australia's traditional power centers Sydney and Melbourne.

One of Many Developing Areas
Perth is one of 15 “developing” or “emerging” data center markets in APAC, according to a new report from Cushman & Wakefield, along with country mates Canberra and Brisbane, as well as Auckland, New Zealand. It's projected to pull 100MW to 250MW by 2028, at which time it will still trail Melbourne, Bangkok and Manila in the region, and lag APAC heavyweights Sydney, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, and Mumbai.

Data center developer DC Alliance is building facilities in the Perth region, and the company has said “Perth is shaping to become the next hotspot due to proximity to high-growth APAC,” with considerable potential for cloud facilities as well.

Sustainability is Always Key
Power is a concern here, as elsewhere. DCA has mentioned direct cooling, careful design planning, and sustainable energy. Resource-rich Australia has an ambivalent history in diversifying its economy, but has committed to eliminating coal-fired energy by 2030. It can be considered as a regional sustainability leader by some measures.

According to IDCA Research, Australia's current sustainable electricity grid represents 28% of the nation's total, above the world average, and its economic efficiency in producing emissions is similar to that of the US. Overall, Australia is among the world's top 30 countries (slightly ahead of the US) in the IDCA Digital Readiness Index. It has superior internet access by world standards.

A Sunny Dawn in APAC
Australia has achieved modest success in sustainability and holds its strong place in the Digital Readiness Index despite well-known megaproject disasters we've reported on, such as the National Broadband Network (NBN), a $30 billion fiasco; and the multi-billion-dollar Snowy Mountains hydropower project, now delayed until 2029.

The recent activity in Perth brings some new sunshine to Australia's forecast, and validates new interest in the country and its “western capital.”

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