Amazon is to build its fourth data centre in Ireland. The company has already invested more than $1 billion in the country.
Amazon’s new data centre will be located in Dublin, and approximately 22,000 sq metres of space have been allocated for the facility.
The Belfast Telegraph reports that the online retail giant bought the site of a former warehouse operated by logistics firm Barretts.
Up to 50 staff are likely to be employed at the facility when it is finished.
Ireland is currently in the midst of a legal row with the European Union over allegedly unfair tax breaks it offers companies which invest in the country.
Although it has nothing directly to do with Amazon, the EU says the Irish government’s policy amounts to billions of dollars worth of unpaid taxes.Amazon to build fourth data centre in Ireland Click To Tweet
The company which has been caught up in the centre of the row is Apple, which is also planning to build a data centre in Ireland at a cost of almost $1 billion.
EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager says unfair sweetheart deals have left Apple with needing to pay a massive $14 billion tax bill.
Apple has disputed this and says it will go to court to argue its case.
Ireland has become something of a magnet for data centres, especially ones built by US firms wanting to do business in Europe.
More than 30 companies – including Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, Digital Realty – have set up their data centres in Ireland.
One of the consequences of so many data centres in a country with a population of less than 5 million is that there is a huge amount of energy being used per person.
Most data centres employ relatively few people – fewer than a hundred each – even though the data they house and process comes from hundreds of millions of people.
All those servers and infrastructure use up a lot of power from the country’s electricity grid. Whereas Apple claims its data centres run on 100 per cent renewable energy, most other data centre do not.
As pointed out in the Irish Times, the growth in data centres poses very serious challenges for Ireland’s energy grid.
The average centre uses so much energy that it ends up with an electricity bill of about €160 million, says the irish Times.
This will require billions of dollars of extra investment in the infrastructure, adds the paper.