September 29, 2021
Government’s red carpet rollout for data centres risks the lights going out – Darren O’Rourke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Environment, Climate and Communications, Darren O’Rourke TD, has called for a moratorium on new data centres until an economic, environmental and energy security impact risk analysis has been carried out.

Speaking in the Dáil this morning, the Meath East TD said:

“People will have been shocked to hear Minister Eamon Ryan on the radio this morning not ruling out electricity blackouts this winter.

“This represents a disastrous failure of government policy to manage and balance our electricity needs.

“The last government set a target of making Ireland the data centre capital of the world, with absolutely no thought about the impact this would have on our carbon emissions or electricity supply.

“The current government has not changed approach and the warnings from Eirgrid and the CRU are falling on deaf ears in Government Buildings.

“The Government’s red carpet rollout for data centres is now risking the lights going out and widespread social unrest, not to mention the irreparable damage it will do to our climate and to the climate movement.

“We appreciate the need for data centres. They provide a vital service that keeps many of the digital aspects of our lives running.

“But it’s clear the uncontrolled and ill-conceived government policy which has encouraged the rampant expansion of data centres here, is now threatening the electricity supply to Irish households and businesses, and that’s simply unacceptable.

“This ‘no questions asked’ approach taken by the Government is rapidly catching up with the state.

“The growth of data centres is also jeopardising the state’s 2030 target of reducing emissions by 51%, a commitment less than three months old.

“The government seem to know very little about the impact of data centres, whether that’s in their current or future energy consumption, tax reliefs, water use or economic value.

“Sinn Féin supports a moratorium on the development of new data centres, until an economic, environmental and energy security impact risk analysis has been carried out.”

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