Amazon's second Drogheda data center jeopardizes environmental targets

Jul 07, 2021 | Posted by editor

An Taisce, the Irish National Trust, have rallied against Amazon building its second data center on its Drogheda site in County Meath. Although the facility was given the go-ahead in June, the Irish planning board is now awaiting an appeal by the environmental group. It says that the authorities have not considered the facility's impact on energy supplies and factored in the country's commitment to renewable power targets.

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The group highlighted that by 2027, Amazon's facilities will account for 0.26% of the country's greenhouse gas emissions. The data center, worth €350 million, could jeopardize Ireland's current environmental targets. An Taisce says that the local authorities and An Bord Pleanála are only looking at projects on an individual basis, which is "a systemic infringement" of the EU's requirements. This requires companies to undergo an environmental impact assessment, which looks at the bigger picture. The bigger picture reveals that by 2027, data centers will take up 31% of Ireland's electricity capacity.

Speaking to the Irish Times, An Taisce's planning and environmental policy officer at An Taisce, Phoebe Duvall, said: "Any new data center should provide a new, directly linked supply of renewable energy and should not jeopardize Ireland's existing national climate/renewable energy targets."

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