Jim O’Hara, who led the company locally from 2002 till 2010, says the Irish operation has been well regarded internally since the earliest days.“Intel has always looked fondly on Ireland as a place to do business. We had a good experience when we started out and that has continued. Intel has huge confidence in its Irish workforce because it has continually delivered over 30 years,” he says.
3D imaging technology developed by Irish company XYZ Reality is being used to speed up construction of a massive new “hyper-scale” data centre in Denmark. Construction giant PM Group is currently using XYZ’s new HoloSite technology in building the vast processing centre and says it’s working on a policy of “build it right first time” with the tech.
There was a time solar energy was quickly put in the “will never happen in Ireland” category, but dozens of developments are set to come on stream in coming months. For David Maguire, chairman of the Irish Solar Energy Association and co-founder of BNRG, it’s an exciting time yet one where there is too much uncertainty for developers and obvious barriers to quick deployment.
Ireland is one of the world’s most desirable locations for data centres. Last year, TikTok joined tech giants such as Google, AWS and Microsoft that have selected the country as a data hub. However, while data centres provide critical infrastructure for our internet-reliant society, they also consume high volumes of energy, an issue that Ireland is working hard to address.
RES has received planning consent for the 36MW Corlacky Hill Wind Farm, near Swatragh, Northern Ireland. The eleven-turbine project, backed by the Department for Infrastructure, will inject approximately £10.7m (€12.5m) into the economy through construction.
“The grid requires an unprecedented change in the next ten years,” said Mark Foley, EirGrid Group Chief Executive.“This transition to clean electricity will affect everyone in Ireland and will unquestionably be difficult; however the benefits will be truly transformative at both a societal and an economic level.”
EirGrid has suggested weighing in on the location of data centres and investing in new technology to redevelop Ireland’s electricity grid.The Climate Action Plan is aiming for 70pc of Ireland’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030. But in October 2020, the Irish Academy of Engineering warned that this target would not be met without significant investment into the national electricity grid.
Under the Climate Action Plan, 70% of Ireland’s electricity is to be generated by renewable means, with most of that coming from wind. For that to happen, there needs to be considerable investment in the national grid. Depending on which approach is taken, that could cost between €500m and €2bn.