Multinationals’ energy concerns, Dublin’s construction costs, and the true scope of surveillance

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

A study of world building prices by project managers shows construction is more expensive in Dublin than in European centres including Paris and Berlin. Photograph: iStock

A study of world building prices by project managers shows construction is more expensive in Dublin than in European centres including Paris and Berlin. Photograph: iStock

 

Warnings that electricity demand was pushing supplies to their limit sparked concern among multinationals in the Republic, IDA Ireland has told regulators. Barry O’Halloran reports that the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities last winter issued several “amber alerts”, warning that demand in the Dublin area was close to capacity, increasing the risk of power cuts should the network run into problems. IDA Ireland says the alerts “are causing disquiet in the foreign direct investment community”, in a submission to the regulator.

Barry also reports that building in Dublin is more expensive than Paris as material and labour shortages have made the Irish capital Europe’s third costliest city for construction, a new survey from Turner & Townsend shows.

Notion Software, a US tech company that has developed a popular workplace productivity platform, is to establish its European headquarters in Dublin, creating an initial 25 jobs, reports Charlie Taylor. The company, which is valued at over $2 billion, said it has seen explosive growth over the last year for its collaboration and workplace tools.

In her column, Karlin Lillington writes that what we’ve learned this week from the collective global investigative journalism initiative called the Pegasus Project, is that we have vastly underestimated the breathtakingly invasive scope already available to a surveillance-intent government, agency, or private surveillance client with the money to buy Pegasus spyware from the controversial Israeli software company NSO.

Have you ever wondered if software such as Grammarly or Quillbot could help you write better? Ciara O’Brien examines that question and outlines the various packages available that will help you achieve perfect, grammar, a better flow to your sentences and even avoid clichés.

Ciara also reviews the Fitbit Luxe which she says is a fashion-conscious fitness tracker to beat the bands.

You can read today’s Cantillons – on the financial windfall for AIB in its plan to close 15 branches, and how AmCham has nailed its colours to the mast in its latest anti-personal tax broadside, here.

In Innovation, Patrick McGee asks if Google and Amazon backed the wrong technology with robotaxis as it remains unclear whether there is really a business case for the idea.

And finally, Olive Keogh speaks to Morteza Matkan, an architect whose specific interest is the impact of light and lighting technologies on human health and behaviour in the built environment, and last year was involved in bringing the illuminAi Tech product to the market.

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