In the US, demands for power are outstripping availability as energy-thirsty technologies such as generative AI pile pressure on national electrical systems.

Industry leaders in the States explained the issues to audiences at an energy conference this week, underlining how data centre firms are having to go around regulated utilities in order to satisfy growing power needs. 

A myriad of regulations, court struggles and bureaucracy instigated by environmental and community organisations have prevented new power ventures from being integrated swiftly into the US grid. The stagnant state of affairs is hitting the bottom line of the big power players, such as regulated electric utilities, Reuters reports.

Talking at the AI: Powering the New Energy Era summit in Washington, KPMG financial management leader, Brad Stansberry called regulation and permissions “abysmal”.

Delays mean that data centre companies are passing up the traditional utilities, instead negotiating alternative deals with other power organisations or creating their own energy. Aligned is one such data centre, and one of the largest in its sector, with capacity hitting 2.5GW. The firm is now searching for fresh power sources after investing time into identifying and buying land that can accommodate its operational needs.

Aligned CIO, Phill Lawson-Shanks said:

“We always assumed there would be power, but obviously that assumption was woefully inaccurate, so now we’re chasing where power is.”

Lawson described how his firm are collaborating with utilities on their ventures where feasible, but that they are also pushing to employ smaller reactors or a variety of nuclear energy that is in iterative stages in the US. 

“Where we can’t, we will have to have them behind the meter,” he added.

Power firms have responded by voicing their anxieties over the electrical appetite of new platforms such as ChatGPT and other chatbots, which need around 10 times the energy of Google search and other varieties of AI.

Michael Keyser, chief at National Renewables Cooperative Organisation, said:

“I think it’s a natural outcome of that for why you see data centres and tech companies pursuing their own power purchasing now. 

Regulated power entities say drawn out bureaucratic processes within regulation are to blame for delays to the expansion of their infrastructures. The situation is exacerbated by growing requirements for green energy, such as wind or solar. 

Know the risks

AI’s increasing prominence in society is forcing change around how energy industries regulation in the digital era. But it’s also raising ethical questions: how can we fuel emerging tech sustainably and responsibly?

Experts come together next month at PrivSec & GRC Connect Atlanta to discuss these crucial issues.

Not to be missed at PrivSec & GRC Connect Atlanta:

Harnessing Data and Values: Building an Effective Ethics and Compliance Culture

  • Date: Thursday 23 May, 2024
  • Time: 10:30-11:00am CST

In today’s dynamic business landscape, organisations are increasingly recognizing the critical importance of fostering a culture of ethics and compliance driven by core values. LRN’s 2024 Global E&C Program Effectiveness Report sheds light on key insights into how top-ranked programs are leveraging data and values to navigate the complex risk landscape effectively.

Join us for a panel discussion where we delve into the intersection of data-driven decision-making and values-driven culture in ethics and compliance. Our expert panellists will explore the following topics:

  • Data Sources Driving E&C Program Focus
  • Enhancing Training Systems for Effectiveness
  • Shifting Towards Values-Driven Ethics and Compliance



Discover more at PrivSec & GRC Connect Atlanta

PrivSec & GRC Connect Atlanta will be a gathering of the most influential GRC, data protection, privacy and security professionals, to present, debate, learn and exchange ideas.

  • Thought leaders, industry experts, and senior professionals from high-profile companies sharing their knowledge, case studies, and real-world experience
  • Actionable insights and strategies to help you elevate your GRC expertise
  • Valuable networking opportunities to connect with peers and expand your professional network
  • Unlock your full potential in GRC! 

PrivSec & GRC Connect Atlanta takes you to the edge of the debate, uniting the most influential GRC, Data Protection, Privacy and Security professionals, to present, debate, learn and exchange ideas. 

This dynamic and content-rich experience takes place at the Atlanta Convention Centre over May 22 and 23.

Click here to register for free to PrivSec & GRC Connect Atlanta