Every year, Cushman & Wakefield, an American real estate service firm, publishes their annual Risk Index Report. The report ranks 37 countries according to several risk factors that affect data center operations, including energy cost and security, world bank rating, natural disaster risk, GPD per capita, sustainability and political stability.
Iceland climbed the report’s rankings over the past several years: in 2013, the country placed seventh and came in fifth in 2015. This year Iceland topped the charts, coming in first place with a perfect index score of 100 out of 100. Right behind Iceland were Norway, Switzerland and Finland. Canada came in sixth place and the U.S. placed tenth.
Out of the 37 countries listed, Iceland had the highest percentage of total renewable energy supply, with 72% of Iceland’s total energy consumption coming from hydro and geothermal sources. Iceland also placed second in water availability. Almost 67% of Iceland’s land is covered in water between their geothermal pools, waterfalls and glaciers – which all contain some of the purest water in the world!
The movement to bring data centers to Iceland is spearheaded by Landsvirkjun, the national power company of Iceland. Due to the naturally cool climate, there is no need for extensive mechanical cooling equipment – typically the largest expense for data centers. Landsvirkjun already supplies 100% of the power for major data center Verne Global. Read more about Landsvirkjun’s efforts here!
To view the whole 2016 Risk Index Report and see how Iceland ranked, download the Data Centre PDF here.