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New government policy issued on data centres in Ireland

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A revised ‘Statement on the Role of Data Centres in Ireland’s Enterprise Strategy’ has set out guidance for development of new facilities in the country.

The policy states that, while new developments will not be banned in Ireland, a set of sustainability-focussed regulations should be adhered to by potential developers.

In a statement, the government said “we must align the twin transitions which are both digital and green”, claiming that data centres are responsible for about 14% of Irish electricity use.

The new guidance “adopts a set of principles to harness the economic and societal benefits that data centres bring, facilitating sustainable data centre development that adheres to our energy and enterprise policy objectives.”

The statement outlines several new principles, encouraging developments with strong economic activity and employment; efficient energy use, using available capacity and alleviating constraints; adoption of renewable energy; colocation with a renewable generation facility or storage facility; decarbonated design; and the provision of community engagement.

New data centre developments not adhering to the guidance “would not be in line with government policy”.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin had previously said that there will be no moratorium on the construction of new data centres in Ireland.

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