Hyperscale datacentre loads as the densest loads on the energy grid – still true?

I recently asked this question on a private mailing list focussed around ICT for sustainability, but having a public url helps when asking more widely.

I run a podcast focussed on the environmental impact of ICTs, and I have a question that might be relevant for other studying here. 

Hyperscale datacentre loads as very dense loads on electricity grids

I’ve followed a podcast, The Interchange, for a few years about the Clean Economy – the Interchange.

It changed hands a few years back but there was a fascinating episode in 2020 called “Data Centers Are the Epicenter of the Clean Energy Economy”.

There were a couple of mentions of the load placed on the electricity grids by data centres as being very dense for the area they take up – comparable to Aluminium Smelters.

Here’s the podcast


And here is the link to the two quotes specifically, by Dr Jon Koomey, and Shayle Khan a well known clean tech investor – so I’m inclined to believe them. Follow the link below to see

Jon Koomey saying they’re comparable:

Shayle Khan saying they are denser:

The podcast episode is now three years old, and while rack density has increased, we now have a few new loads like EV chargers which I understand to similarly dense.

Is there any research in the public domain from the last 12 months that might shed some light about load density like this now?

I’ve used this factoid in a few places when talking about how DCs integrate into grids, and I’d welcome any pointers.