The surge in Irish data processing will require significant new energy infrastructure and increase emissions, complicating Ireland’s response to the climate crisis. The cloud can create carbon: it is estimated that when the music video Despacito reached 5bn streamed YouTube views in 2018, the energy consumption was equivalent to powering 40,000 US homes a year (it has now exceeded 6.5bn views). By 2028 data centres and other large users will consume 29% of Ireland’s electricity, according to EirGrid, Ireland’s state-owned transmission system operator. Worldwide data centres consume about 2% of electricity, a figure set to reach 8% by 2030. Few countries, if any, will match Ireland’s level.
Guardian 6th Jan 2020 read more »