So where are tomorrow’s green data centers going to be built?
All over the world, with some locations being more attractive than others.
One country seems to be working extra hard to make itself appealing as a site for hosting the world’s information – Iceland. In a recent Bloomberg article reported in The Economic Times, Iceland proudly pointed to its cool temperatures, geothermal energy, and location between North America and Europe as selling points for why it will become an increasingly popular destination for green IT.
Jeff Monroe is CEO of Verne Global, a venture launched by Bjorgolfur Thor Bjorgolfsson (a former banker and Iceland’s first billionaire) to capture a piece of the green data center market. “Iceland happens to be a rare spot on the earth where there is a convergence of attributes that tick all the boxes,” says Mr. Monroe. “You have 100% renewable energy. We can do 100% free cooling.”
Verne Global has already built a $700 million data center in Iceland in a former NATO air force base. “The project relies on renewable energy from hydroelectric and geothermal power plants,” reports The Economic Times. “The site is equipped with heat wheels that funnel hot air out and cool air in, a lower-cost alternative to standard air conditioning.”
Verne Global, like many other businesses, sees a huge upside in this kind of data center. How big will green get? Investment in energy-efficient server farms will skyrocket to $41 billion by 2015, according to Pike Research.
To tap that kind of market potential, Iceland, according to The Economic Times, is “seeking to reinvent itself as a secure data haven halfway between Europe and North America as it recovers from a near total economic collapse and the 2008 failure of its top lenders. That nascent effort will get a boost from a link to Emerald, a $300 million undersea cable stretching from the west coast of Ireland to New York slated to be completed next spring. To spur tech investment, Iceland has also reduced duties on imports of equipment.”
Looks like things are heating up in some very cool places.