The recent revelation that a TikTok data center in Norway is causing a weapons manufacturer to struggle to meet soaring demand for artillery shells highlights the growing concern around energy usage by big tech companies. Nammo, a Norwegian arms manufacturer, has said that the data center is consuming all the electricity in the region, making it impossible for the company to keep up with the surge in global demand for ammunition.
The CEO of Nammo, Morten Brandtzæg, has expressed his concern that the storage of cat videos is impeding the growth of his company, which is facing a demand for artillery rounds that is 15 times higher than normal due to the war in Ukraine. While it is unclear whether Nammo shells are being used in Ukraine, the company’s customer base is overwhelmingly made up of EU and NATO states, which have been making mass donations to Ukraine since Russia invaded.
The issue highlights the importance of energy efficiency and sustainability in the tech industry, as data centers continue to consume large amounts of electricity. According to the energy provider in the Raufoss region of Norway, power is provided on a first-come, first-served basis, meaning that Nammo’s defense work gets no priority over any other users of electricity. The energy company has stated that it has no spare capacity for Nammo to increase its output as it has already been promised to TikTok.
While it is unclear whether the proximity of the TikTok data center to the defense company is intentional or coincidental, the issue highlights the need for a broader discussion around the impact of big tech companies on other industries. As the demand for energy continues to grow, it is important for companies to take a more sustainable approach to their operations to avoid situations such as this one.
In conclusion, the situation in Norway underscores the need for increased dialogue and cooperation between big tech companies and other industries. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, it is essential for companies to work together to find sustainable solutions that benefit everyone. Ultimately, the issue of energy usage in the tech industry is one that affects us all, and it is up to all of us to work towards a more sustainable future.