5 October 2021
By Tom Collins
Cork North Central Solidarity TD Mick Barry this morning said that new “energy-guzzling” data centres should not be allowed at a time when householders can’t even be given a guarantee that the lights will stay on this winter.
His call came as an Oireachtas Committee prepares to hear evidence this morning on the issue including an address by DCU Professor Barry McMullin who will compare striving to reach climate goals while expanding the data centre sector to “trying to run down an up escalator”.
Tomorrow night the Dáil votes on a People Before Profit Solidarity bill which aims to ban new data centres while the climate crisis persists.
The global average for electricity used up by data centres in 2% but in Ireland the equivalent figure currently stands at 11%.
With the current rate of new data centres logging in to the electricity grid it is predicted that this figure could rise to 30% before the end of the 2020s.
Deputy Barry said this morning:
“The Government is giving the big tech companies everything they want. But it’s time to shout stop when these companies are using up much more of our electricity supply than is normal and ordinary households are being told that they can’t even be given a guarantee that the lights will stay on this winter.”