Data centre investment in Ireland on track to hit €10bn by 2022

15 May 2019692 Views

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Ireland’s data centre industry is booming with 53 data centres now active.

Inward investment from the data centre industry into Ireland since 2009 is expected to top €10bn by 2022, according to the latest figures from Host In Ireland.

According to the report, there are now 53 active data centres in Ireland and 29 in development. Last year alone, 16 data centre halls came online.

‘The data centre industry remains a strong renewable-first advocate’
– GARRY CONNOLLY

“The enormity of this investment has been transformational for Ireland over the past 10 years,” said Garry Connolly, president and founder of Host In Ireland. “Over a similar period, the ICT sector in Ireland has seen direct and indirect employment increase to more than 100,000 jobs.”

Notes from a Data Isle

He continued: “Our ability to provide the data infrastructure required by some of the largest companies in the world has meant that computer service-related exports now top €69.3bn, making it the largest export sector in the economy, beating pharmaceuticals and the agrifood sector.”

Connolly said that to put the level of spending into context, the investment into data centres in Ireland is the equivalent of building the proposed Metro (€3bn) and Dart Underground (€4bn) and the recently announced rural broadband scheme (€3bn).

According to the report, annual investment by the data centre industry is holding firm at €1.3bn.

Around 55pc of the spend in the sector was on equipment including generators and air conditioning units. A further 20pc was spent on civil, structural and architectural services; 15pc was spent on mechanical, electrical and plumbing services; and 10pc was spent on preliminary construction costs.

Growing at hyperscale

According to Host In Ireland, Dublin is now the largest market for data centres, accounting for 25pc of the European marketplace.

Connolly added that the quarterly update “highlights that Ireland will continue to see direct investment grow in the data centre sector, which indirectly supports growth in the overall ICT sector”.

He lauded the Government’s decision to increase its renewable energy target to 70pc.

“The data centre industry remains a strong renewable-first advocate,” said Connolly. “There have been several good news announcements with respect to renewable energy this quarter. They include a €1.5bn investment from Statkraft to construct a series of wind farms around Ireland.

“However, the most significant is Amazon’s decision to invest almost €200m in the construction of a wind farm off Donegal without subsidies, the first of its kind in Ireland. The announcement sets an important precedent and highlights how serious hyperscales are in pursuing renewable-first policies,” Connolly said.

John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist who served as editor of Siliconrepublic.com for 17 years.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com