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Data Centres

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 November 2021

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Questions (55)

Bríd Smith


55. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the way the carbon budget plan for emission cuts of 4.8% each year on 2018 levels to 2025 is compatible with the Government's support for continued data centre expansion and building given these centres’ high energy consumption; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53666/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act provides, inter alia, for a maximum amount of emissions to be permitted in different sectors of the economy during a carbon budget period, referred to as ‘sectoral emissions ceilings’. All sectors of the economy will have sectoral emissions ceilings and emissions from data centres will be accounted for within the relevant sectoral emissions ceiling.

The Climate Action Plan 2021 will bring forward policies and measures to support the delivery of the 51% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, and put us on a pathway to climate neutrality no later than 2050. The Plan will include specific actions for large energy users, including data centres.

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment is committed to reviewing the 2018 'Government Statement on the Role of Data Centres in Ireland's Enterprise Strategy' to align with our renewable energy targets, sectoral emissions and climate priorities.This is part of a suite of actions to ensure that Ireland is planning appropriately for new energy demand in the context of our electrification and decarbonisation ambitions, while facilitating growth in digitalisation and our technology sector.

Government is working with the relevant state agencies to ensure that there is a plan-led, regionally balanced approach to large developments such as data centres in future taking into account existing grid availability and the opportunity to co-locate significant renewable energy opportunities.