Microsoft announces plans to invest $3.2 billion in AI Sweden – the Nordic country’s largest ever infrastructure bet

Microsoft Corp. plans to invest $3.2 billion in artificial intelligence and cloud facilities in Sweden, its biggest-ever infrastructure bet in the Nordic country based on the region’s rich green energy supply.

The move strengthens the tech giant’s footprint in the country by adding 20,000 GPUs or graphics processing units at its three data centers. The company also pledged to train 250,000 people in “essential AI skills,” according to a statement Monday.

“This major investment reflects our belief in how much Sweden can benefit from AI,” Microsoft Vice President and President Brad Smith said in an interview. He praised the country as “one of the most innovative on the continent,” adding that it will only lead if it uses AI.

The Nordic region has become a top target for large energy users thanks to its abundant clean energy resources, in which hydropower dominates the energy source structure. Meta Platforms Inc, owner of Facebook, and Alphabet Inc, owner of Google both have their own large bases across Northern Europe.

Data centers compete with other industries looking to benefit from some of the cheapest power sources in the world. Some green mega projects are expected to double electricity demand in the near future decade.

Asked about the risk of an impending energy crisis, Microsoft’s Smith said the company has combined its data center investments with a big bet on renewable energy. It has acquired nearly 1 gigawatt of power as well as signed a contract with state power company Vattenfall AB.

“I don’t think we could have made an investment like the one we made in Sweden without a partner like Vattenfall,” Smith said.

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