London’s aging power grid undermines British AI ambitions, Virtus Warns

London’s electricity system is struggling to add more data centers, deterring potential investment and undermining Britain’s ambitions in technology like AI, a business has warned the UK energy regulator.

| Updated on: Jun 24 2023, 07:29 IST
Power-packed phones on a budget: Samsung Galaxy F13, Poco M5, Moto G32, more
Power grid
1/5 Realme C55: The newly added entry-level Realme C55 features a 5000 mAh battery with 33W SUPERVOOC charging support. It packs the MediaTek Helio G88 Chipset, and a 64MP AI primary rear camera. It comes at a price of Rs. 10999 available on the official website and Flipkart and Amazon.  (Priya / HT Tech)
Power grid
2/5 POCO M5: It has a 6.58-inch FHD+ 90Hz Display, a 5000mAh battery, and is powered by the MediaTek G99 chipset. For photography, it gets a  50MP triple camera and 8MP front camera. It comes at a starting price of Rs. 10999 on Amazon and Flipkart.  (HT Tech)
Power grid
3/5 Moto G32: It has a strong 5000mAh battery support and power from the Snapdragon 680 chipset. The Moto G32 offers a 6.5-inch Display with a 90Hz refresh rate and packs a 50MP camera with a 16MP selfie camera. You can find it priced at Rs. 10499.  (Motorola)
Power grid
4/5 Samsung Galaxy F13: It packs a huge 6000mAh battery and gets an Exynos 850 chipset. Topping it all, the smartphone offers a 50MP rear and an 8MP front camera. The Galaxy F13 is available in three colour options – Nightsky Green, Waterfall Blue and Sunrise Copper starting at Rs. 10999.  (Flipkart )
image caption
5/5 Redmi 10A Sport: It packs a 5000mAh battery and it is powered by the MediaTek Helio G25 octa-core Processor. The smartphone also comes with an AMOLED Display and houses a 13MP rear and a 5MP front camera. It comes at an affordable price of Rs. 10499.  (Xiaomi)
Power grid
icon View all Images
Men Checking and Repairing Electric Lines at a Station. (Representative Image| Pexels)

London's electricity system is struggling to add more data centers, deterring potential investment and undermining Britain's ambitions in technology like AI, a business has warned the UK energy regulator.

“A combination of lack of immediate power combined with delays in future power is preventing us from growing our business within the southeast of England via the addition of new sites,” Virtus Data Centres Ltd.'s engineering director, Peter Betts, wrote. It's “preventing the region from reaping the benefits from future technological advancements in areas such as artificial intelligence, an area in which the UK wishes to become the global center of excellence.”

Lack of power in the southeastern part of England has stalled about £500 million ($636 million) of investment in new data center facilities, Betts said as part of a letter sent by industry association TechUK to regulators.

The server farms are one of a number of industries being delayed by insufficient power access in the UK. Much of the new power generation is coming from offshore wind farms off the coast of Scotland, which is difficult to move down south.

National Grid Plc and the government's Office of Gas and Electricity Markets have blamed each other for the slow buildout of new grid connections, which is also hampering residential housing and has led to queues longer than a decade for some projects. Earlier this month, the grid operator said it's prepared to boot any planned generation capacity from the queue that isn't progressing quickly to make room for other projects.

“If the UK wants to continue to be a big player in AI as well as other emerging technologies we need the infrastructure that underpins these innovations,” Neil Ross, TechUK's associate director of policy, said. “Slow and expensive access to power is putting this at risk and stopping infrastructure being built, from data centers to telecoms networks to semiconductor manufacturing.”

An Ofgem spokesperson said connection delays were a “major obstacle” to building new data centers and other power-hungry projects that requires “urgent” policy reform.

“We recognize the frustration some of our connections customers are experiencing,” Julian Leslie, the grid operator's head of networks, said earlier this year. “We are determined to address the challenges with the current process which was not designed to operate the sheer scale of applications we are receiving today.”

Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews , also keep up with us on Whatsapp channel,Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

First Published Date: 24 Jun, 07:29 IST