CBRE forecasts rise in European colocation capacity in H2 despite power supply constraints

The major European colocation hubs are expected to see a 17% year-on-year (YoY) increase in installed datacentre capacity by the end of 2023, despite the ongoing challenges operators face when trying to secure power sources for their sites.

According to market data shared by real estate consultancy CBRE, it is expected that Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, Paris and Dublin (FLAPD) will end the year with a total of 4GW of installed capacity, with double-digit supply growth expected to occur in each of these individual markets.

This comes on the back of limited amounts of new supply coming online during the second quarter of 2023, with CBRE citing the “tremendous amount” of new capacity that was deployed during the second half of 2022 as being a factor in that.

“Despite the period of inactivity, our supply forecast for the year has been increased [for the second half of 2023],” said CBRE in its Q2 2023 FLAPD market tracker report.

“Nearly 578W of capacity are expected to be added across the 13 European markets in 2023 [that] CBRE reports on. There are 495MW of supply expected in the FLAPD markets alone.”  

This supply will be contained in a “notable number of massive facilities” that are expected to be delivered in Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris during the second half of this year, continued the CBRE report.

“[They] are expected to be among Europe’s largest and well be pre-let to the largest hyperscalers or built with them in mind,” said the report. “All told, colocation datacentres operators are expected to deliver 36 separate datacentre expansions or new builds across FLAPD over the course of the year.”

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In take-up terms, CBRE said demand for colocation capacity looks set to remain strong across Europe with “significant portions already pre-let, expected to be pre-let, or built with potential occupants in mind”.

There was 51MW of capacity taken up across the FLAPD markets in Q2, which was markedly up on the previous quarter when take-up hit 28MW.

It added: “Alongside projected supply growth, CBRE expects FLAPD market take-up to reach 480MW for 2023, an increase of 25% YoY when compared to 2022 (384MW).”

CBRE said take-up is also expected to grow considerably in the smaller, secondary datacentre hubs during the second half of 2023, as securing primary power supply in FLAPD becomes ever more challenging.

Particularly with CBRE predicting that demand for colocation capacity will continue to rise as enterprises across Europe turn their attention to incorporating more compute-intensive artificial intelligence (AI) workloads into their operations.

As a result, the company said the hyperscalers had been responding to this trend by seeking to procure “vast amounts of supply in locations previously deemed untenable given the distances from datacentre clusters”, the report added.

Meanwhile, Kevin Restivo, director of European datacentre research at CBRE, said – when combined together – these trends all serve to highlight just how valuable datacentre capacity is.  

“Datacentre capacity is an increasingly scarce commodity. Developer-operators are delivering new supply in greater amounts, yet vacancy rates are on the decline across Europe. This is a testament to the importance of data centres to the digital economy,” he said.

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