Ireland’s Central Statistics Office, CSO, reports that data centres in Ireland consumed 14% of all electricity in Ireland in 2021, up from just 5% in 2015. There was a 32.3% increase in electricity consumed by data centres in 2021 compared to 2020.
Commenting on the release Niamh Shanahan, Statistician in the CSO Environment and Climate Division, said: “The report shows the total metered electricity consumption by data centres by quarter for the period 2015 to 2021. Data centre consumption increased from 290 Gigawatt hours in Q1 2015 to 1,058 GWh in Q4 2021. Figure 2 shows a steady increase from quarter to quarter. The increase in consumption was driven by a combination of existing data centres using more electricity and new data centres being added to the grid.
Given that electricity production is the world’s leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions (25%), and Ireland’s electricity generation fuel mix is heavily dependent on fossil fuels (gas accounted for 57% of energy inputs to electricity generation in 2020, coal and peat accounted for 9%, and oil 2.4%), this report should make us look hard at data centres and work to make them carbon neutral ASAP.
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