Warning moratorium on data centres could stall growth

Four existing Equinix data centres support businesses that account for 53,000 jobs or 2% of workforce.

Up to 10,000 Irish jobs could be supported through the construction of a new Equinix data centre in Dublin.

However, the project is on ice due to a moratorium on the construction of data centres in Dublin and colocation companies like Equinix are being denied access to Ireland’s electricity grid.

“Ireland can save its reputation as a digital powerhouse, supported by some of the best talent in Europe”

A planned 9.9 MW retail international business exchange facility, in Profile Park, Clondalkin, saw an application for a connection to the grid rejected last August. Equinix estimates that this facility would be capable of supporting businesses in maintaining a further 10,000 jobs in Ireland.

Demand for digital services

Equinix’s existing facilities in Ireland currently support businesses which account for 53,000 jobs – or 2% of the workforce in Ireland.

A report by KPMG, commissioned by Equinix, calculates that the construction of the proposed facility would generate an economic output of over €200m.

Due to the rising demand for digital services, this expansion would also see Equinix grow its own team in Ireland from 150 to 170 and further support local SMEs. The team in Ireland has grown by 20% since 2021, with this growth now also paused due to the current data centre moratorium. 

Equinix hosts more than 260 businesses at its existing Irish facilities, including more than 130 Irish enterprises. More than half (56%) of Equinix’s customers in Ireland have their business headquarters in the country.

“This research shows the vast spectrum of companies and industries working with Equinix and using our services,” said Peter Lantry, managing director for Ireland at Equinix.

“We are supporting companies of all sizes, from multinationals to smaller Irish enterprises, with more than 30 of our customers having fewer than 20 employees. All of these enterprises are not just key for our economic growth, but vital in our daily lives, too. Innovation is happening every day in Equinix, shown by the number of people using our data centres as a digital hub on a daily basis.

“Digital infrastructure is essential in supporting Ireland’s workforce – especially with the rise in data processing including AI activity, and hybrid and remote working – and it is only set to grow in importance. At Equinix, we want to continue supporting businesses and economic growth in Ireland, but we are now at the point where multinational companies are choosing to base themselves elsewhere due to our ongoing national grid crisis.

“We have the ability and technology to operate flexibly off the grid, meaning we can be self-sufficient when the grid is at capacity. By allowing Equinix to provide this service to the grid, Ireland can save its reputation as a digital powerhouse, supported by some of the best talent in Europe.”

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.