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Ireland’s Data Centres: A 2024 Outlook

As we enter Q1 2024, Ireland’s data centre landscape is on the brink of transformative growth, driven by advanced technologies and an increasing focus on sustainability. The Irish data centre industry has witnessed rapid expansion, with about 70 operational centres, predominantly in the Dublin area​​. This expansion has led to significant power consumption challenges. Ireland’s electricity grid is struggling to keep pace with the growing demand from these data centres, making Ireland a global outlier in terms of electricity consumption by data centres​​. The situation is exacerbated by the burgeoning demand for AI technology, which requires high-power GPUs, further straining power supplies​​. This escalating demand for power, along with a worldwide power shortage, is expected to drive innovations in data centre design and technology to meet the high-performance computing requirements​​.

Sustainability is a critical concern, with government regulations and customer demands pushing data centres towards greener operations. The EU’s impending regulations for sustainability performance standards are accelerating efforts to reduce energy consumption and increase reliance on sustainable energy​​. In this context, Ireland’s data centres are expected to progress towards environmental goals, such as achieving 100% renewable energy use, with some exploring new clean energy sources like hydrogen​​. The shift towards cloud services is gaining momentum. Gartner predicts that by 2025, 85% of enterprises will close their traditional on-premises data centres, opting for more sustainable cloud services like IaaS and SaaS. This shift is driven by the need for greener data centre operations and the desire to reduce energy usage and carbon emissions​​. Furthermore, AI technology is revolutionising data centre operations by enabling optimisation and automation, thus improving cost control and operational efficiency. AI-based solutions are enhancing energy and water usage efficiency, crucial for meeting aggressive sustainability performance targets​​.

As organisations increasingly adopt multicloud strategies, data centres in Ireland will need to engage in comprehensive discussions around data privacy and security with their customers. The movement towards hybrid and multicloud options reflects businesses’ desire for flexibility and cost-effectiveness in their cloud operations​​.

2024 looks set to be a defining year for Irish data centres. As Ireland’s data centre industry continues to grow, it faces both opportunities and challenges. Balancing the increased demand for data centre capacity with sustainability goals and power supply constraints will be crucial. The industry’s response to these challenges will define its trajectory in 2024 and beyond, making it a year of significant developments in data centre infrastructure, sustainability, and technology adoption.

For regular updates and insights into Ireland’s construction sector, stay informed at www.breakingground.news. Also, be sure to share your industry news by emailing editor@breakingground.news

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