Amazon data centre site in Mulhuddart would use 6.75% of Ireland’s electricity
Halloween protest at Amazon HQ in Dublin at 1pm, Sunday 29th October
Most of Ireland’s new solar farm energy is being bought up by Big Tech to greenwash its data centres, while Ireland burns more and more fossil fuels to meet the staggering growth in electricity consumption by data centres.
That’s according to the organisers of a vampire-themed protest at 1pm this Sunday (29th October), starting at Amazon’s HQ on Burlington Road in Dublin. Amazon recently got permission for three data centres in Co Dublin that would bring the electricity use at that site to almost 7% of Ireland’s total electricity demand.
The Halloween protest is organised by anti-capitalist climate action group Slí Eile, and protesters are encouraged to wear vampire-themed fancy dress to symbolise the devastating drain on Ireland’s energy and water caused by the insatiable growth of data centres.
Data centres’ electricity consumption increased by 31% in the year from 2021 to 2022, according to the CSO, while households reduced their electricity use by 10% over the same period. Data centres consumed 18% of Ireland’s electricity in 2022.
William Hederman of Slí Eile said:
“Amazon, Meta and other Big Tech firms are buying up swathes of Ireland’s new renewable energy to power data centres, while the staggering rise in electricity demand from data centres has resulted in the Government building new gas-burning power stations and the ESB announcing that Moneypoint power station will remain open until 2029.”
Facebook owner Meta recently announced it would buy the total output of two of Ireland’s largest solar farms in Meath and Wexford, which have a combined peak capacity of 276MW. This represents 74% of the 371MW utility-scale solar (i.e. solar farms) currently connected to the grid in Ireland.
“Solar farms that would otherwise have powered homes, schools, electric vehicles etc are instead powering data centres,” Hederman added. “Meta will use three-quarters of all of Ireland’s current solar farm output.”
“Tech giants are desperate to greenwash their data centres by buying up renewables. What this means in practice is that wind and solar power is being diverted away from sectors that urgently need to be decarbonised, such as homes and transport. Big Tech gets solar and wind – it’s coal and gas for the rest of us.”
The ESB announced in September that Moneypoint Power Station in Co Clare would now remain open for an extra four years until 2029, to meet the dramatic rise in electricity consumption.
Amazon was last month granted permission for three new data centres in Mulhuddart, Co Dublin. This would bring the number of data centres at Amazon’s Mulhuddart site to six, with a combined annual electricity consumption of 1,925 gigawatt hours, according to the planning application.
This represents 6.75% of Ireland’s electricity, equivalent to the consumption by 500,000 homes, or a quarter of the country’s housing stock, and would account for 1% of Ireland’s current greenhouse gas emissions.
Fingal Co Council granted the planning permission in September. Several appeals have been lodged with An Bord Pleanála.
Slí Eile is the main organising group for Ireland’s Climate Camp.
Slí Eile on Twitter:
Slí Eile on Instagram:
Climate Camp Ireland
1. Electricity consumption by data centres increased by 31% in 2022
2. Meta buys total output of two of lreland’s largest solar farms
3. 371MW of utility-scale solar currently connected to the grid in Ireland:
4. Moneypoint power station to be kept open until 2029 despite emissions concerns
5. Planning Application for 3 further Data Centres at Cruiserath Road, Dublin 15
6. Metered Electricity Consumption 2022