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Ireland's Datacenters Now Consume More Power than its Entire Rural Population

A view of Dublin.

Dublin is one of the most popular locations in Ireland for the construction of new datacenters.

Credit: iStock

According to data from Ireland's Central Statistics Office (CSO), datacenters in the country now use more energy than all rural dwellings (12%), and are closing in on urban dwellings (21%).

The National Planning Framework, which the Irish government published in 2018, defines 'rural' as all areas outside towns with a population of less than 10,000 - although there are other definitions. The CSO itself classes rural areas as any settlement with a population of fewer than 1,500.

By any definition, Ireland has a large rural population: about 31.4% of the public live outside urban areas, according to the CSO in 2019, although other metrics put it at more than 36%. That's well above the EU average of 27.3%.

How are datacenters drawing enough power to eclipse the demands of more than 1.5 million people? It's a combination of both existing and new facilities being added to the grid, but the CSO claims that only a small number of Ireland's estimated 70 datacenters are responsible for the vast majority of power use.

From Computing (U.K.)
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