Following recent reports from Wind Energy Ireland that Ireland risks missing its climate targets due to a shortfall in wind energy generation People Before Profit Dublin Midwest representatives Gino Kenny TD and Cllr Madeleine Johansson have said that any additional data centre development in this country would be contrary to our climate targets- especially in a climate emergency. Gino Kenny TD pointed out that with the planned expansion of the data centre sector and development in this country Ireland would be further locking itself into reliance on fossil fuels for other sectors because of the amount of renewable energy capacity that the data centres would demand. He called on the government, and especially the Green Party, to support the People Before Profit Planning and Development (Climate Emergency Measures) (Amendment) Bill 2021 which would ban the construction of anymore additional data centres in this country whilst we are in a climate emergency (while carbon in the atmosphere registers as over 350 parts per million). Gino Kenny said: “The report from Wind Energy Ireland shows that we risk missing our climate targets due to a lack of renewable wind generation capacity.
“The addition of data centres on top of this demand would throw our climate goals out the window. The existing 70 data centres in this country consume 11% of entire electricity output and 30 are planned with another 8 under construction. This additional burden on the energy system is completely unsustainable and would also present massive problems for us in terms of blackouts for ordinary people and businesses. “I call on the Green Party to use their sway in government and back this bill so that our national policy around data centres can be rational and sustainable. Anything other than full support for this bill from the Greens would represent a betrayal of the climate movement and an abandonment of Ireland’s climate targets and obligations.”
Cllr Madeleine Johansson added: “During the new South Dublin County Development Plan discussion I proposed to ban any further data centres in the county. I was very disappointed that the motion was not supported by other councillors. “I would be concerned that residents in Clondalkin and surrounding areas are likely to face blackouts because of the number of data centres here. They will also cause even further increases in the price of electricity which could push many people into fuel poverty.”