Google warned of Irish data center ban

Google warned that any ban on developing data centers in Ireland should be avoided and would seriously hinder the country’s transformation to a digital and green economy.

In a detailed submission to the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), the tech giant said any moratorium on data center development should be avoided “at all costs.”

It said it would send “the wrong signal” about Ireland’s ambitions as a digital economy and risk hindering businesses from using cloud computing services.

Google said it wants to continue investing in data center infrastructure in the country, but a moratorium would “make this impossible”.

Uncertainty ‘bad for business’

The multinational warned that data centers in Dublin must be able to depend on access to the electricity network and that any “uncertainty” about this is “bad for business”.

Google said any changes to data center policy planned by CRU should be temporary as long-term solutions to Ireland’s electricity crisis were identified.

In the submission, it called for greater transparency on where existing electricity capacity is located in the Irish network.

It said greater clarity and openness was needed about Eirgrid projections on forecasting data center electricity consumption growth.

Google proposed a new pricing system for data center operators who reserved more capacity than they ultimately needed, or were too slow to grow to that capacity. It said:

Transmission charges can be designed in such a way that consumers whose demand does not increase toward their maximum reservation are charged more than those who demonstrate that they are growing each year.

The filing also said that while it understood the current problems with electricity supply in Ireland, they could be addressed with a longer term approach.

Google was particularly concerned about any plans to block the development of data centers on a regional basis or in Dublin, saying doing so would come at its own risk.

“Demand for cloud computing in Dublin is growing,” it said, “and many cloud services have to be delivered from data centers close to the user, ie these services cannot be delivered as required by customers from data centers that are far from Dublin.”

Leave a Comment