A good distance from Telemark, in the municipality of Fyresdal, a large customer of the Oslofjord data center is hoping to mine Bitcoin.
With the support of local politicians, he established the data center himself with the listed Arcane Crypto company, investing tens of millions in computers. Together, in the years to come, they will dig for digital gold.
But the drilling job became nonsense at the end of 2021. According to the Oslofjord data center, the electricity bill was around NOK 2 million in December. With him the power consumption is 5 megawatts.
Customers stop making money. Because it’s not in line with the electricity prices we have, says Oslofjord Data Center CEO, Åsmund Myhre.
At certain hours of the day, they shut down the machines because it gets expensive to maintain.
It is an extreme case which means that customers either earn less or lose their money. Of course, they wouldn’t have invested in Norway had they known about it, says Mayer and talks about the client base, which also consists of foreign companies he doesn’t want to name.
According to Meyer, the company pays spot rates like other people, and has not received electricity subsidies from the government.
Believe in the customer journey
Myhre believes there is a real fear of clients relocating.
– It may be convenient for customers to move machines to the United States and other places where there is cheaper and more reliable power. Sad thing. If you think a little more holistically about the environment, most of the power should be for data centers where there is clean power. Norway is at the top.
He says they are now looking to establish themselves in northern Norway and become “strong refugees”, because Energy is cheaper there.
Wouldn’t it solve a lot if customers bought a fixed price for electricity?
It may be suitable for more people. But if you lock in a price now, for the next six months, pegging it can still be expensive. I doubt the government will put in place support schemes for data centers.
– Who mines Bitcoin?
– He probably sits more indoors. Then there was a lot of noise, Mayer says and laughs.
He rejects the price crisis
However, in one of Norway’s largest data centers, Green Mountain, they have no reason to maximize the crisis yet. the It has clients in sectors such as Finance, Health and Industry, and has several major European clients. They don’t touch Bitcoin mining.
– Higher electricity prices can certainly be a challenge, but when we work with clients in London or the Netherlands, electricity prices are higher there. We’re testing it as competitive,” Tour CEO Christian Gilland tells NRK.
With them, too, customers are the ones who pay for the electricity. He believes that lower electricity prices over time and green energy, means that customers will still look to Norway as a place to own servers.
He still has a stab at the Norwegian authorities.
– If we compare it to Denmark, we produce three times more electricity. It gives us the opportunity to create value in Norway, so we would like to return to the normal price level, at much better prices compared to our neighboring countries, to create more jobs, Gilland says.
Parliamentary politician Terje Asland (Labour) on the Environment and Energy Committee thinks high electricity prices are a cause for concern. But for now, it is not appropriate to give data center industry power support.
There aren’t many other places in Europe where electricity is cheaper than in Norway. Prices are important for establishing industrial activities that contribute to increasing employment opportunities and export earnings. The government’s goal is to have surplus power in Norway, all the time, Aasland told NRK.
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