Wednesday, 22nd January 2020

Data centre growth continues amidst Brexit construction uncertainty

New data centre sites approved as 10,000 MW of new renewable energy expected by 2030 through €2bn investment.

A recent report by industry initiative Host In Ireland has highlighted the continued upward trend of data centre construction in Ireland despite a fall in overall construction activity.

The quarterly report with input from Bitpower outlines Ireland is on course to secure a €4.5 billion investment from data centre construction by 2025 despite Brexit which has had significant knock-on effects for the rest of the construction sector. According to the most recent Ulster Bank Construction PMI Report construction activity had its steepest monthly decline since June 2013.

The continued availability of renewable energy is a key driver for the sustainable development of the sector in Ireland. EirGrid’s recent announcement of a €2 billion investment in renewable energy sources was welcomed by the industry as demand for cleaner energy sources for the sector continues to rise. The investment is aimed at reaching the recent government commitment to supply 70% of the national grid with renewable sources by 2030.

The Quarter 3, 2019 industry update report also highlighted the most recent data centre developments in Dublin and the Greater Dublin Metro area. There are currently 10 data centres under construction at present, including the beginning of construction of a new €400 million data centre in Grange Castle along with the expansion of another data centre waiting for planning approval in a nearby location.

Ballycoolin will welcome similar projects that have been approved for planning permission for construction. The attraction of the two, three-storey data centre facilities spanning around 29,000 square metres each further highlight’s Ireland’s growing position as a market leader supported by its growing sustainability agenda.

Host In Ireland President, Garry Connolly, commented on the attractiveness of Ireland’s sustainability agenda for data centre investment:

“We’ve seen investment in the sector remains on a steady course despite Brexit in contrast to other parts of the construction sector that have seen a slow in growth.

Demand has remained strong as the need for data continues to rise but also due to Ireland’s 2030 commitment to secure 70% renewable energy by that time. Across the industry, we have previously pointed to Amazon’s recent investment of €200 million in the construction of a wind farm off Donegal without subsidies, the first of its kind in Ireland. It’s expected that such investments will continue to be made in the coming years. We look forward to the developments in the industry in 2020 as data centres positively impact Ireland’s commercial construction and energy sectors.”

Other findings in this quarters report include a 35% increase in the scale of construction of data centres over the past two year period. The average number of data centres per quarter under construction in Ireland has increased to 10 from 6 since 2017. 13 new data centres have been completed since 2017 with the number of operational data centres increasing by 31% from 41 operational data centres in 2017 to 54 currently.

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