Updated: Sep 12, 2019
With the release of Host In Ireland’s Quarterly Report for Q219, we’ve seen continued strong momentum in the Irish data centre sector with €4.5bn of new data centres expected to be built by 2025. In addition, the island has also seen subsequent investment and growth in the renewable energy sector. The need for more renewable energy sources - including demand for an upwards investment of €9bn - has been cited by Eirgrid, SEAI and the Irish Academy of Engineers to ensure the sustainability of the sector, which we welcome.
The data centre industry globally has progressively moved to a renewable first model and the industry in Ireland is no different. As recognition of this reality, the Irish Government’s commitment last quarter to achieve a 70% renewable energy target by 2030 is an important step forward. However, the government cannot drive that agenda alone.
We have seen in recent years several large scale direct investments in the renewable energy sector from leading data centre operators such as Amazon and Microsoft. We expect these type of investments to continue. Amazon only recently announced Cork as the location for a 23Mw wind farm development on top of an earlier investment in April this year in Donegal. Wind power already produces 37% of electricity on our grid and has seen a 100% increase in capacity since 2012.
The challenges of success are increasingly becoming known in policymaking circles as the sector's footprint expands in Ireland. The principle challenge is that of sustainability. The data centre industry in Ireland will continue on its course to invest in renewable, sustainable energy solutions into the future.
The history of adaptability and innovation to support the ICT industry runs deep in this country. From Ireland leapfrogging the US as the number one software exporter in the world twenty years ago to Dublin’s current position as the largest data centre cluster in Europe, we have maintained our Tier 1 status because of our ability to change and innovate specifically around the world of data. In the same way that Ireland found solutions to the change from floppy disks to data centres, we must now look at how we harness our natural resources including wind, wave, biogas and light to maintain Ireland’s name as the "Data Isle".
We look forward to engaging with stakeholders on the issue of sustainability and energy requirements in the sector to ensure strong growth into the future ensuring Ireland’s place as a global leader.
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Key findings of the Q2, 2019 Update Report include:
Annual Investment in data centres has reached €1.3bn on an annual basis
Cumulative investment in the data centre sector up to 2023 is ex €11bn
Dublin South West remains the largest cluster of data centres in Ireland with 14 active data centres