June 29, 2022
Households should not foot bill for data centre electricity backup – Darren O’Rourke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action, Darren O’Rourke TD, has called on Minister Eamon Ryan to ensure that ordinary households are not left to pick up the tab for the emergency electricity generators needed to prevent blackouts as a result of the strain data centres are putting on our grid.

The Meath East TD said:

“The state faces the threat of electricity blackouts in the coming winters due in large part to the strain data centres are putting on our electricity grid.

“Data centres already use as much electricity as all the homes in rural Ireland combined and this is set to at least double by 2030.

“As a result, the government is now ramming through a piece of emergency legislation to permit EirGrid to procure €350m worth of backup electricity generation to ensure we can keep the lights on.

“This EirGrid Bill underwent no pre-legislative scrutiny, and the rushed nature of it has left many unanswered questions.

“The Dáil heard tonight that it will be households who are saddled with the €350m cost of the new gas and diesel generators that need to be purchased, with the Minister refusing to say how much it will add to annual electricity bills.

“This is absolutely unacceptable, given its data centres who are causing the huge increase in demand for electricity, not ordinary workers and families.

“People are already struggling with massive increases in their energy bills, so it’s astonishing for the government to even contemplate asking consumers to foot this bill. 

“Minister Ryan must ensure data centres pick up the tab for this emergency generation capacity, not ordinary households.” 

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