Wednesday, 24 November 2021
Ceisteanna - Questions
Climate Change Negotiations
Yesterday, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities outlined new rules for data centres that want to connect to the electricity grid. I do not believe these changes would have come through if the issue had not been highlighted and campaigned on by climate campaigners. However, I also do not believe that the commission has gone nearly far enough. One condition is that centres must provide their own emergency power supplies. Will the Taoiseach tell us when that condition will kick in? Will there be any stipulation that these emergency power supplies will be based on green energy? Will the 70-plus data centres be allowed to develop supplies based on fossil fuels, should they so decide?
Does the Taoiseach agree the 11% share of our national electricity output used by the centres can only be expected to rise, given no prohibitions were announced yesterday, only new conditions? Does the Taoiseach agree the changes, in large measure, amount to kicking the can down the road? If so, does he not think a moratorium or ban on new data centres might have been a better option for our country?