Iceland, Data-Center Hub?

Chilly air and volcanic energy may lure tech companies
"Iceland happens to be a rare spot on the earth where there is a convergence of attributes that tick all the boxes" Photograph by Robert Harding World Imagery/Getty Images

On the southwestern tip of Iceland, housed in a former NATO air base, a new $700 million data center is waiting to host the world’s information. Tapping into a ready supply of geothermal energy and cool temperatures, Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson, a former banker and the country’s first billionaire, is trying to capture a slice of a rapidly growing market: green data centers. Investment in energy efficient server farms will climb to $41 billion by 2015, according to Pike Research. “Iceland happens to be a rare spot on the earth where there is a convergence of attributes that tick all the boxes,” says Jeff Monroe, chief executive officer of Verne Global, Björgólfsson’s venture. “You have 100 percent renewable energy. We can do 100 percent free cooling.”

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