We live in a world where many companies rely on the “cloud: to store their data.
Obviously, data doesn’t literally float around in the ‘cloud’, it has to be stored somewhere.
That’s where large Data Centres come in…
At its simplest, a data centre is a physical facility that houses critical applications and data. Inside a data centre, you’d find stacks of routers, switches, firewalls, storage systems and servers.
And as expected, data centres use a heck of a lot of electricity.
For example, they account for about 3% of the US’s total energy usage.
And this is before the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies.
It’s only expected to get worse as AI becomes more important and competitive.
So, what’s the solution?
Nuclear is making a comeback as not only one of the cleanest forms of energy
but also one of the most efficient.
Microsoft thinks nuclear reactors are the solution to power its data centres and AI ambitions.
Recent reports revealed that Microsoft plan to use small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) to power their AI data centres.
Small module reactors (SMRs) have most of the benefits of traditional nuclear power plants, but they require less planning and are less capital intensive than their traditional counterparts.
These smaller reactors can generate around 300 megawatts per unit, which is about a third of the much larger reactors.
They can be designed to meet specific end-user requirements such as reducing water and waste usage. In addition, they can be compatible with other energy sources and come with enhanced safety features.
This makes them particularly suitable for smaller energy projects.
It’s also what makes them such an appealing option to companies.
There are over 80 different SMR models currently under development
worldwide. The demand for SMR could grow as the tech proves itself as a “green” solution.
Microsoft also inks a “Nuclear Fusion” deal…
Staying with nuclear and Microsoft news…
The tech giant also recently made an audacious deal to purchase electricity from a company called Helion.
Helion is in the process of developing an even more futuristic nuclear fusion power plant.
Both old-school nuclear reactors and SMR designs generate electricity through nuclear fission, which is the splitting apart of atoms.
Nuclear fusion, involves forcing atoms together the way stars do to create their own energy.
A fusion reactor could be a source of abundant clean energy that doesn’t create the same radioactive waste as nuclear fission.
Helion’s backers also include OpenAI CEO and ChatGPT developer Sam Altman.
Remember, Microsoft made a huge $13 billion bet on OpenAI.
So, the partnership makes sense.
However, we can’t get too excited about nuclear fusion technology.
Despite decades of research and recent breakthroughs, most experts say a fusion power plant is at least decades away.
What we can takeaway is nuclear is back in the spotlight.
And that means, more demand for uranium – which as you know is one commodity market, I’m very bullish on right now.
PS. Renewable energy, Artificial Intelligence are just 2 of 5 megatrends we are watching and profiting from here at South African Investor.
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