Techxit: Equinix’s Peter Lantry warns of fallout from data centre moratorium

Equinix, Inc., the world’s digital infrastructure company®, has announced a new report from KPMG, which suggests the severe economic impact that would be caused by curbing the development of Ireland’s colocation data centre industry. The report showed that Equinix’s existing facilities in Ireland currently enable an annual contribution to Ireland’s GDP of €15.8BN – or 3% of the country’s total GDP.

As a colocation data centre provider, Equinix provides vital digital infrastructure to 260 enterprises in Ireland, supporting a range of key public services such as healthcare, telecommunications, and transport, while green technology and sustainable solutions are also reliant on the processing capabilities of data centres. Half of these enterprises are multinationals, ensuring the company is supporting both foreign direct investment and the expansion of Ireland’s digital economy.

By collocating customer compute resources – and providing access to hybrid multicloud services that – Equinix provides far greater energy efficiency than siloed on-premises solutions. This ensures that it is the most sustainable choice for businesses requiring digital infrastructure. Additionally, it can provide a service to the electricity grid by using its own back-up power at times of high demand.

The KPMG report examines how Equinix is working to achieve decarbonisation and support the Government’s environmental policies. It highlights that the company has committed to being Net Zero Carbon by 2030 and is exploring a renewable Corporate Purchase Power Agreement which will cover full-year power across all its Irish data centres. Through innovation upgrades, it has achieved continuous energy efficiency improvements of at least 5% per annum for the last three years and it is currently completing a feasibility study to offer district heating for vital infrastructure in Dublin’s Blanchardstown area, using waste data centre heat.

Despite the value of colocation to businesses and the economy, as well as its commitment to sustainability and supporting the grid, Equinix is one of the companies being impacted by the current data centre moratorium in Dublin. A new 9.9 MW data centre in Profile Park, Clondalkin saw an application for a connection to the grid rejected last August.

Peter Lantry, Managing Director for Equinix Ireland, says that by curbing the growth of the data centre industry, Ireland is risking its ability to attract and hold on to the world’s tech companies. Lantry believes that Ireland, having spent decades positioning itself as a global digital leader, is on course to harming its economy and says the country is already diverting foreign direct investment elsewhere.

Peter Lantry, Managing Director for Ireland at Equinix, said: “We are on the brink of a Techxit. We used to be one of the major economic centres of Europe, but we are getting crossed out because we can’t facilitate the FDI investment that for so long has been central to our economy. The world is digital, and if Ireland does not change course on this quickly, it will be left behind. 

“The KPMG report demonstrates what we have been saying for some time – that colocation data centre providers, like us, are part of Ireland’s economic backbone and need to be classified as critical infrastructure to allow our economy to thrive. We are essential to supporting the country on its journey towards sustainability, both through progression in our own sustainability journey and the use of our infrastructure to aid the sustainability journeys of our customers.”

See more stories here.