Data centre electricity usage matches that of homes

Data Centre

Central Statistics Office (CSO) records show that data centres proliferated so much from 2015-2020 that their electricity usage rose by 144pc. Their usage is now so high it matches that of all rural homes in Ireland.

The latest figures indicate that data centres accounted for 11pc of the country’s total electricity consumption in 2020 – just marginally below the 12pc used by all rural dwellings combined.

Demand for electricity grew over the five years, but data centres accounted for 72.5pc of the surge. Measured in gigawatt hours (GWh), data centres used 3,019 GWh compared to 3,220 by rural homes.

Niamh Shanahan of the CSO’s environment and climate division, comments that these figures are notable as most of the 3,019 GWh was consumed by just a “small number” of the largest centres.

Data centres have come under scrutiny for the strain they are putting on national electricity supply at a time when supply is stretched.

Other large consumers now include IT campuses and cement manufacturers, which saw total electricity use increasing by 54pc over the period.

County comparisons show Kildare households had the highest median electricity use at 4,224 kWh, with Meath and Kildare close behind.

Donegal had the lowest at 2,896, followed by Leitrim and Roscommon. That is likely attributed to the greater proportion of new houses and electrification of heating in the commuter counties. 

NSL News.