Home » Chancellor’s AI investments will mean nothing without improvements to UK power grid

Chancellor’s AI investments will mean nothing without improvements to UK power grid

by Simon Jones Tech Reporter
7th Mar 24 10:28 am

Following the Chancellor’s decision to invest a further £100m in AI innovation, and his comments on investment by Google and Microsoft in UK data centres yesterday, it is more important than ever to improve the UK’s power grid to cater to increasing demand.

Currently, development of data centres is massively constrained by bottlenecks in power supply that must be overcome for the UK to improve its data storage capacity and expand its AI capabilities. Without this investment, the UK simply cannot cater for the increased demand for AI servers.

Adam Macleod, Parter at Castleforge said, “We are encouraged to see that businesses like Microsoft and Google continue to invest in new data centres in the UK, supporting the significant data storage and processing needs associated with the expansion of their AI products and other services.

“However, unless the Government urgently invests in building out additional power grid capacity, these projects may face waits of a decade, and require billions in private investment for power grid upgrades, to access the power needed.

“A lack of public investment in the power grid will hamper not only the UK’s ability to expand its data capacity by restricting power allocation to projects like this, but also efforts to remain globally competitive in building out green infrastructure, like battery developments, solar farms, and electric vehicle charging stations, and in UK industrial initiatives to replace fossil fuel use in manufacturing processes with electricity generated from renewable energy sources.”

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