Server farms burn lots of electricity, both for computing and for cooling. This has raised concerns about their ecological footprint. So one company is promoting the idea of relocating servers to Iceland, a country which is naturally cool, and which has massive amounts of excess, carbon-neutral power.
The company expects demand to be huge because as the number of servers around the world grows, a big environmental cloud is looming - all that energy use means an increase in CO2 production.
“The data centre industry now is on par with the airline industry as far as the carbon footprint,” says Jeff Monroe, head of Verne Global - a data centre company working in Iceland.
The volcanic forces which shaped the landscape have also gifted the country masses of geothermal power - 100% of the country’s electricity is renewable and basically carbon free, much generated from water heated far below the ground.
Its an intriguing idea, although I am not sure how strong of a tradition Iceland has regarding freedom of expression. Since web content is regulated by the laws of the country in which server is located, I think having strong protections of freedom of speech is important.