The electricity consumed by data centres in Ireland went up by 144% from 2015-2020, according to figures released today by the Central Statistics Office.

Total metered electricity consumption went up by 10% over the same period.

Data centres accounted for 73% of the increase in the consumption of electricity over the period.

Data centres store and process information from computer systems and there are approximately 70 in Ireland, according to industry sources.

The percentage of total metered electricity consumption accounted for by data centres more than doubled, rising from 5% in 2015 to 11% in 2020.

When broken down into three monthly quarters, their usage has steadily increased.

When the three months from October to December 2020 is compared to January to March 2015, consumption of data centres has risen by 193%.

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The increase in consumption of electricity by data centres is attributed to both new centres being connected to the grid and existing centres using more electricity.

Large users of electricity, which includes data centres, account for 21% of electricity consumption. Their usage went up by 54% since 2015.

Urban residential users account for 22% of consumption. Their usage has gone up by 9%.

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The latest CSO figures on electricity consumption here

Rural residential users account for 12% of consumption and have seen their usage go up by 12%.

This is the first time the Central Statistics Office has compiled data on electricity consumption.