Power deficit in Iceland has led the main power utility service Landsvirkjun to cut off power supplies to some of the power-intensive sectors of the country. Industrial sectors such as aluminum smelters, data centers and fish meal factories, in addition to Bitcoin miners have been turned down. The miners’ requests to connect new mining facilities to the grid have been rejected by Landsvirkjun. Power reduction has also been imposed on large customers on curtailable short-term contracts.
The immediate power deficit in Iceland has been caused due to the following factors:
- Low hydro reservoir levels, a malfunction at a power station and a delay in obtaining power from an external producer on December 7, reported Bloomberg.
- Extremely high levels of demand also led to the power crisis according to executive vice president of sales and customer service at Landsvirkjun, Tinna
- The country’s biggest electricity consumers are aluminium smelters that have been benefiting from cheap power and these smelters have to secure their power supply for a long term, Traustadottir explained.
- Due to limitations in country’s power distribution system, Landsvirkjun cannot serve load points from the country’s biggest power station
Karahnjukavirkjun, which is located in the eastern part of the country.
- On the other hand, the island’s western region is mainly experiencing power crunch.
Major crypto mining companies that are already operating in Iceland are Canadian Hive Blockchain Technologies, Hong Kong-listed Genesis Mining and Bitfury Holding. However the main utility is now rejecting requests from new customers in the mining sector.
Earlier two Nordic countries, Sweden and Norway had raised concerns about growing power consumption and subsequent rising environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining. In November, Swedish regulators called for an EU-wide ban on crypto mining.
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