Energy-guzzling data centres

 

Sir, – Why is Ireland encouraging and facilitating these power-guzzling monsters?

We read weekly of a new announcement about another monster data centre being set up in Ireland. Yet I am constantly wondering why Ireland Inc is encouraging and facilitating these power guzzling monsters.

There is virtually no economic benefit to these projects other than the initial construction phase. They pay no taxes as they are not profit centres, simply services centres.

In addition data centres add little or nothing in terms of employment. One such centre in Ballymount in Dublin, which is approximately the size of Croke Park, apparently employs just nine people.

We the Irish people, via our Government, have to fund the electricity infrastructure in Ireland. These companies are starting to put a huge strain on our country’s power infrastructure. The Irish Times reported on January 6th, 2020, that “By 2028 data centres and other large users will consume 29 per cent of Ireland’s electricity, according to EirGrid, Ireland’s transmission system”.

A recent report by the Irish Academy of Engineering has estimated data centre expansion will require almost €9 billion in new energy infrastructure and add at least 1.5 million tonnes to Ireland’s carbon emissions by 2030.

What is the logic to this strategy?

Given that we have the Green Party in Cabinet, it is high time that this Government’s policy of encouraging data centres to locate in Ireland reassessed should be reversed. – Yours, etc,

EAMON O’BRIEN,

Dublin 18.