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Ordinary people are footing the bill for data centres - Senator Lynn Boylan

3 March, 2021 - by Lynn Boylan

As Morning Ireland reports today, Eirgrid could spend between €700 million and €3 billion to upgrade grid for more renewable energy, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Climate Justice Lynn Boylan has warned that data centres will make this much harder.

Senator Boylan said:

“At a time when we see campaigns for individuals to conserve electricity and switch of lightbulbs, the government are encouraging tech giants to drastically ramp up energy consumption.

“By 2027, data centres will hoover up 31 per cent of Ireland’s electricity. They will require twelve and a half terra watts of electricity above what’s already being provided – that’s enough to power twenty-four million homes.

“The Irish Academy of Engineering estimates we’ll need to spend €9 billion on the grid to allow Amazon, Microsoft and their peers to set up data centres here.

“The country already faces a huge challenge in replacing fossil fuels powered generation stations with wind and solar. As more of our transport and heating system becomes electrified, demand is going to go up.

“It is absolutely right the government acts to ensure the transmission grid is able to cater for this extra for these new electricity demands. But I take issue with tax money being spent to ensure the profits of giant tech companies. 

“The government’s strategy to encourage data centres in Ireland is completely at odds with our renewable energy ambition.

“We need a grid that works for people and planet, not just for profit.”

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