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ICEedge is a three-year project that aims to build an experimental platform and develop excellence in edge computing, a technology that provides distributed computing power close to the data source. The project focuses on developing and disseminating knowledge of edge technologies and establishing edge capabilities in different innovation environments, including 5G test beds.

The Energy Agency has mandated RISE to continuously monitor the energy consumption of digital infrastructure and systems, focusing in particular on data centres and cryptocurrency mining facilities, as well as their impact on the energy system. The Authority has recently published its final report together with two background reports prepared by RISE.


With growing demand for distributed computing power, edge computing emerges as a key factor for digital innovation. The drivers of this technology include data sovereignty requirements, extremely low delays and increased use of AI. Edge computing is closely associated with 5G technology and its potential for new services, as well as the concept of data retrieval – a tendency in which applications and data are drawn in networks. ICEedge aims to support at least five demonstrators or development projects and build at least one major Horizon Europe project focusing on edge computing.

ICEedge is building an edge computing platform that complements ICE data centres. The platform enables experimentation and development of applications with computer-centre quasi-computing power at very short distances, for example for edge AI or content leases for high quality AR/VR. The offer includes a hardware and software package with a development environment and the necessary skills to get started. The project expands the edge capacity of innovative testbeds and develops test and democase with partners, while building leading knowledge around the platform and its technologies.

An important part of ICEedge is to engage companies in Swedish ICT to create a common ecosystem. This is achieved through a series of open seminars and events, helping to disseminate knowledge and foster cooperation within the industry.


Data centres: Energy consumption and contribution to digitalisation 

The first report examines the energy consumption of data centres and their role in the digital and green transformation of industry. Despite popular media claims, data centres account for only 12 % of global electricity use. The report examines different types of data centre infrastructures, from small in-house facilities to large cloud facilities.

An important recommendation from the report is the introduction of a reporting obligation for data centre operators based on government policy. This aims to improve the transparency and accuracy of energy evaluations. The report also highlights how data centres can have a positive impact on energy systems through peak cutting and energy arbitrage, as well as by reusing surplus heat for heating purposes. The Swedish data centre industry is known for its sustainability efforts and leads with several innovations and products.

The Swedish data centre market has experienced significant growth in recent years, driven by an increased presence of large cloud companies. RISE estimates that current energy consumption in Swedish data centres is between 2,8-3.2 TWh in 2022. Despite an expected increase in energy consumption, growth is expected to slow down due to new tax rules and economic downturn. By 2025, energy consumption in Swedish data centres is projected to reach 4,0-4.4 TWh, with a more conservative estimate of 4,4-5.2 TWh by 2030.

Crypto-currency mining: Energy consumption and system impact 

The second report assesses the energy consumption of cryptocurrency mining in Sweden and its impact on the energy system. The emergence of blockchain technologies, enabling the use of cryptocurrencies, has increased demand for infrastructure and energy use. Some cryptocurrencies, in particular those requiring extensive proof-of-work processes, have raised environmental concerns due to their high electricity consumption. The report focuses on cryptocurrency mining infrastructures, including data centres equipped with graphics processors, ASIC mining rigs and cooling systems.

Since 2021, the energy consumption of cryptocurrency mining in Sweden has stabilised, estimated at 1-1.5 TWh per year. It is expected to decrease to below 1 TWh by 2025 due to various factors. The report also explores the potential of cryptocurrency mining data centres to be integrated with power and heat grids. Finally, the report highlights the emergence of new consensus mechanisms, such as proof-of-stakes, which can significantly reduce energy use.

Why was this a good example?

The ICEedge project is a good example for several reasons:

  1. Innovation in Edge Computing: The project focuses on developing and implementing edge computing, a technology crucial for future digital innovation. By placing computational power close to the data source, edge computing enables faster and more efficient data processing, which is particularly important for applications that require low latency or handle large amounts of data.
  2. Support for 5G development: ICEedge is directly linked to the development of 5G technology, which is a key element of modern digital infrastructure. By integrating edge computing with 5G, the project helps create new opportunities and services that can change the way we use technology in our daily lives.
  3. Cooperation between Industry and Research: The project involves cooperation between different actors, including research institutions and companies in the ICT industry. This type of cooperation is essential to drive innovation and translate research into practical applications.
  4. Focus on the dissemination of knowledge: ICEedge attaches great importance to disseminating knowledge of edge computing through seminars and events. This contributes to raising awareness and understanding of the technology, which is important for its wider acceptance and use.
  5. Contribution to the Swedish ICT sector: By providing infrastructure and skills in edge computing, ICEedge supports the Swedish ICT sector. This support is crucial for Sweden to maintain and strengthen its position as a leading nation in technology and innovation.

In conclusion, ICEedge is an excellent example of how targeted R & D, combined with industry collaboration and knowledge diffusion, can lead to significant advances in key technologies such as edge computing and 5G.

Good practice details

Target audience
Digital skills for ICT professionals and other digital experts.
Digital technology / specialisation
Digital skill level
Geographic scope - Country
Industry - field of education and training
Generic programmes and qualifications not further defined
Geographical sphere
National initiative
Type of funding