data centre
According to Norwegian research group Sintef, data centres consume 2% of the world’s electricity produced to keep servers cool
data centre
According to Norwegian research group Sintef, data centres consume 2% of the world’s electricity produced to keep servers cool

In Northern Europe, Iceland is seeking to establish itself as a major data centre hub for large organisations, using its energy generating capacity from hydro and geothermal power to cater for the burgeoning data storage market.

According to Scandinavian research group Sintef, data creation has accelerated with 90% of current stored data created in the last two years.

The Norwegian research group adds that data centres consume 2% of the world’s electricity produced to keep servers cool.

Data centre industry

Iceland’s vision is to use its massive energy generating capacity from hydro and geothermal power, which cannot be exported, to provide the ideal climate to attract data centre operators and offering them incentives to ‘set up shop’ in the Nordic country.

Data centre operators will also be offered tax incentives for data centre operation.

The Irish Independent, which first reported the story, states that “these days, anything anyone does on a computer generates reams of data, or to be precise 5 quintillion - add 18 zeros - bytes globally per day with little stored on a PC or laptop.”

It adds that “data processing on this scale is called high performance computing, the most power-hungry kind.”

Giorgio Nebuloni of the US-based International Data Corporation (IDC) commented: "[Data processing is] a big problem for a lot of commercial customers and some universities that run high performance computer environments in Europe because the advanced computers are becoming so big and so energy hungry."

Data privacy

The newspaper report adds that Iceland's strict data privacy laws, which were traditionally seen as off- putting by industry, however, may now boost its attractiveness as a data centre destination – due the spate of high profile privacy leaks recently circling the media.