Ireland is widely acknowledged to be the data centre capital of Europe. Ireland’s ‘free air-cooling’ climate, an overcapacity in the national grid and access to 100% renewable power have contributed to Ireland’s success in attracting significant international investment. Ireland will target to generate 40% of national electricity needs from renewables by 2020. This environmental symmetry is paired with other factors, including a talent pool of English-speaking, IT graduates and high speed low latency links to the US, UK and EU.
There is also the added attraction of the lowest corporation tax rate in Europe (12.5%) and the excellent government support offered to enterprises establishing operations in Ireland. Ireland’s Industrial Development Authority (IDA) is a state run organisation that supports companies financially and administratively when setting up operations in Ireland and provides on-going support as they develop and succeed.
Ireland is already home to one of the largest clusters of data centres in Europe, with large-scale operations, including the likes of Amazon, Microsoft and Google. Co-location data centre operators such as TeleCity Group, BT, and Digital Realty have also established significant operations in Ireland. In 2015 both Apple and Facebook announced plans to develop substantial data centres to support their on-line services.