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Published in Construction on 26/08/2019

Billions in Energy Investment Required to Power Data Centres

CNI Editor reports

With 53 live sites and nearly 30 more under construction, data centres and other large energy users are posed to consume as much as 31% of the country’s power stock.

Ireland’s booming data centre economy is outpacing its energy supplies which are in need of a €9bn investment by 2027 in order to support the continuous industry growth.

Experts from the Irish Academy of Engineers highlighted the need for more cash in the energy sector in a report that also warns that 31% of all energy supply demand in just eight years will come from data centres and other large energy users.

“The issue of who will pay for this investment and how it will be funded urgently needs analysis and debate, as does the potential future development of the data industry itself, given the projected investment requirement will be almost €9 billion by 2027 to provide the required power supply to support its development,” it reads in the report.

“The Government Statement on the “Role of Data Centres in Ireland’s Enterprise Strategy” recognised this exposure but to date no measures have been put in place to ensure that these costs are fully borne by data centre developers.”

As Ireland prepares itself to top over €10bn in data centre CAPEX by 2022, the Republic’s future electricity demand growth is wholly due to data centre demand and expansion by a very small number of large industrial customers, has pointed by Eirgrid’s 2018 Generation Capacity Statement.

According to industry body Host in Ireland, at the beginning of Q2 2019, there were 53 active data centres in Irelandwith 29 currently in development. The Greater Dublin area alone is home to more than 20 facilities, including some of the largest hyperscale sites in Europe.