Iceland is an attraction. Not just as a travel destination, but also for businesses. Hosting in Iceland has never been more attractive. In a recent report by Savills, comparing 21 European countries and taking 25 key indicators into account, Iceland ranked #1 for data center operators. Other studies, such as the Cushman Wakefield Data Center Risk Index, ranks Iceland as the safest location for data centers.
Carbon free and reliable power
Iceland has invested significantly in its renewable energy infrastructure, taking a lead towards a future of cleaner and more affordable power options. Iceland’s electricity is 100% renewable due to hydro and geothermal energy sources. As an energy system with no nuclear or fossil fuel generation, the country is free of carbon-emitting energy production. For instance, we source most of our electricity from Blanda Hydropower Station, a winner of the IHA Blue Planet Prize award. Data centers depend on a reliable electricity supply with minimal risk of interruptions, fluctuations and blackouts. Data centres are well-placed to benefit from renewable energy sources due to their stable power consumption.
Competent people and a vibrant culture
Iceland has a diverse, talented workforce ensuring quality performance and efficient operations. Iceland has demonstrated its ability to develop and train highly qualified ICT and engineering staff. According to the WEF Global Competitiveness Report, Iceland ranks #7 for current workforce skills. Iceland’s vibrant cultural scene, supporting social welfare system and highly developed language skills, together with geothermal lagoons, geysers, glaciers and waterfalls, make Iceland an appealing country.
Compelling pipes & proximity
Proximity is a word used in the datacenter arena. It is all about the closeness of the datacenter to the end-user, measured in time data travels. With the new subsea cable connecting Iceland to Ireland, scheduled to be finalized in 2022, Iceland becomes a suburb of Dublin, Europe’s data center capital. The country already has two connections to Europe: FARICE-1, which connects Iceland and the United Kingdom, and DANICE, connecting it to Denmark. Situated on the axis between the American and European continents, Iceland has a superior strategic global position to provide secure and resilient low-latency global connectivity.
Fast construction to efficient operations
Iceland has a proven history of mobilizing large workforces to ensure efficient and quality work on large-scale builds. Our campus at Blönduós was constructed over a nine-month timeframe from greenfield to full operations and the first data hall building was operational in just over 3 months. The natural climate conditions in Iceland significantly reduces the cost of cooling, thus making operations super efficient.
Iceland has a pragmatic, pro-business approach to policy issues, including data protection and IP. Policy makers are both accessible, supportive and solution-oriented. According to Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir, Minister of Industry and Innovation, pictured above on a Blönduós campus visit: “we have all the capacity to be active and valuable participants in the fast-paced and ever-changing world of innovation and technology.”
In a recent interview with Bloomberg Daybreak Europe, Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson, Iceland’s minister for foreign affairs and international development cooperation, said “the country is looking to attract new investment and diversify it’s tourism-dependent economy rather than make itself an elite destination.”