Tuesday 11 December 2018

Green-powered data centre sector set for €3bn investment boost

A Google data centre in Dublin
A Google data centre in Dublin
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

More than €3bn is set to be invested in data centre construction in Ireland over the next three years, a new report has predicted.

It also claims that the continued deployment of renewable energy will be sufficient to supply the increased electricity demand that the facilities will place on the national grid.

The report, by Host in Ireland and Bitpower, noted that national grid operator Eirgrid recently projected that by 2027, as much as 31pc of Ireland's electricity could be powering data centres. The Host in Ireland/Bitpower report reckons the figure is now about 6pc.

It also noted that there are now 48 data centres in Ireland, with 540MW of grid-connected power capacity.

Tech giants including Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Facebook have all built significant data centre operations in Ireland.

But data centres provide relatively few permanent jobs compared to their scale and drain on power resources, resulting in some criticism.

Amazon, which has a number of data centres around Dublin, is also planning a €1bn data centre campus in the capital.

The plan was objected to by Allan Daly, the Co Galway engineer who had also objected to Apple's plan for what would have been its first Irish data centre.

The report published yesterday cites the continuing need for renewable energy installation to help fuel data centre expansion.

"We recognise the strategic need for Ireland to continue on the path of renewable energy as a key driver of growth for the hosting industry in Ireland," said Garry Connolly, the CEO of Host in Ireland.

Irish Independent

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