(From the Independent) Ireland will have to accelerate electricity generation as over €2bn worth of data centres come on stream here over the next five years, the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) was warned.
The new centres could increase Ireland’s energy demand by 18pc, and make an EU target for the country to generate 40pc of all power from renewable sources by 2020 a more challenging goal. Wind energy is expected to account for 36 percentage points of that 40pc target. About 18pc of Ireland’s electricity demand was met by wind power last year.
The IWEA claims the surge in data centre construction could lead to a boon for wind energy companies, with multinationals seeking to power their facilities using green energy. The association has predicted that €1.36bn could need to be invested in Irish renewable energy infrastructure to meet the associated electricity demand.
Multinationals including Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon either already have data centres here, or are planning to build them.
Ireland’s temperate climate lowers the cost of operating the data centres, whose equipment can generate a lot of heat inside buildings. That has made Ireland a prime investment target for the infrastructure.