Data centres needed as economy ‘tech-centred’ – Martin
Tánaiste Micheál Martin has said Ireland is a “technology-centred economy” with a need for further data centres.
He was responding to reports of concern over a surge in energy use by data centres.
Yesterday, the CSO said data centres increased their power consumption by 31% and now account for 18% of electricity used.
This industry has gone from using 5% of total power consumed to 18%.
Data centres consumed 31% more power last year than in 2021 and 400% more than they did in 2015.
Mr Martin said it is a very significant challenge “reconciling digitalisation of the economy” with a need to decarbonise society.
He said Ireland is a good location for data centres but admitted there are challenges with how much energy they use.
Mr Martin said: “We have been working with state agencies and the regulators in terms of creating a framework that will allow us to grow in a sustained way.”
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said there are restrictions on new data centres adding “there have to be.”
He also defended the growth of data centres as an integral part of Ireland’s economy as he said over 100,000 people who work in the tech sector rely on their existence.
Mr Varadkar said it results in tens of billions in taxes from tech companies.
In the future he said they need to be powered by renewable energy and “so much” is being put into wind and solar energy.