Iceland is a popular destination for organisations running energy intensive operations due to the low cost of energy production from Iceland’s eco-friendly hydro reservoirs, a colder climate for cooling heat intensive environments and an established energy distribution network.

However, according to recent reports, Iceland’s energy supply company, Landsvirkjun, is starting to implement strategies to limit supply to energy intensive industries and will no longer provide services to new cryptocurrency mining organisations. 

For decades, Iceland’s largest consumer of electricity was aluminium smelters, who located in the country primarily due to its low energy costs. With an energy distribution network already in place, Iceland was ideally positioned to support new industries within the digital economy. Combining low energy costs, with eco-efficient production and a naturally cold climate, Iceland capitalised on its established energy distribution network and embraced companies with large scale energy consumption – large data centres and cryptocurrency mining operations. 

However, as a result of this growth, combined with recent energy generation issues related to low hydro reservoir levels, a power station malfunction and a delay in obtaining power from an external provider, Landsvirkjun is reducing supply to some industrial customers, such as aluminium smelters, data centres, crypto mining operators and fish meal factories. The company is also not accepting new business from crypto mining operators. 

Landsvirkjun have stated that limitations in their distribution system inhibit their ability to serve load points in the southwest of the country from their largest power station based in the east. They have also said their western area is having distribution difficulties and as such, they are limiting energy supply to some industries in order to balance a country-wide supply of energy. Landsvirkjun have stated they do not anticipate significant issues at the current time, but are taking action to mitigate future supply issues. 

For companies reliant on low cost energy, this is a significant risk to their business. Iceland is a leading provider of services for the digital economy and any change in country-wide service delivery is a risk to business operations. With the country now looking to limit the supply of energy and not allowing new entrants to operate, the risks associated with large-scale centralised service delivery are now becoming more visible and so alternative solutions are required.

Since 2018, GAIMIN has been highlighting the risk of centralised data processing operations. These risks are a key aspect in the development of GAIMIN’s strategy and business model to create a worldwide, decentralised data processing network with supercomputer level performance. 

GAIMIN has created a unique decentralised data processing network by harnessing the underutilised processing power found in high performance GPU devices and rewarding users for their participation in the network. GAIMIN has tested its network with a number of data processing requirements – powering blockchain computations and video rendering. 

The GAIMIN decentralised data processing network mitigates the risks associated with centralised data processing by distributing energy consumption worldwide, location agnostic processing, a small device footprint as opposed to large scale physical presence and a low requirement for cooling of devices.