Figures received by Bríd Smith TD, Climate spokesperson for People Before Profit show that eight new data centres due to be connected to the National Grid in the next three years will require a total of 1.5GW of power. That is three times the amount of extra gas generation to be purchased by the State.
Today Deputy Smith said “The figures I received from CRU (Commission for Regulation of Utilities) are quite shocking. They show that Eirgrid have confirmed that eight new Data Centres are due to connect to the grid in the next three years and that they will require a total of 1.5 GW, that is more than three times the 450 MW to be purchased in extra gas generation by the Government”.
The TD said “People before Profit have consistently argued that the real threat to our energy system was due to the proliferation of these energy guzzling centres and this was completely unsustainable. But the Climate Committee recently mistakenly waived scrutiny on an emergency bill from Government for the state to purchase extra capacity to the tune of €360 million at a minimum to have back up power for the winter of 2023.”
Bríd Smith TD said “Taken with the existing demand of Data Centres at 14% of the National Grid these figures show that Ireland has a dysfunctional relationship with corporate interests and that we are risking any sustainability in the future, risking climate targets, risking blackouts and serious pressure on our water systems also.”
“Despite the Government voting down my bill to ban any further expansion of data centres, the Climate Movement and all opposition should now be demanding a ban on any further data centre expansion. This PQ reply shows that, as the Government scrambles to bring in extra emergency capacity, the real scandal is not the Ukraine War or threatened gas supplies from Russia but it is the proliferation of Data Centres in this country which are projected to use up to 30% of the national grid by the end of this decade.”
“I will be calling on the Government to carry out a complete review of their policy on Data Centres in light of this new information.”