Microsoft and Amazon have had to cancel the many new data centers
Amazon and Microsoft’s proposed new data centers in Ireland have been halted due to worries about power shortages and availability. Amazon had planned to invest up to €2 billion in Ireland to expand its data center operations since the country has become a significant location for data handling facilities due to its closeness to Europe and North America. However, The Times(opens in a new tab) has reported that EirGrid, the country’s state-owned energy system operator, has placed a freeze on new connections, putting the move on hold, with one proposed Amazon Web Services site and two planned Microsoft facilities affected.
The decision comes as Ireland, like much of Europe, is concerned about the impact of the current Ukraine-Russia crisis on its power pipeline. Data centers consume enormous amounts of power, with Ireland’s utilities authority warning in 2021 that rolling blackouts were imminent if problems were not resolved. EirGrid has not allowed any new data centers since issuing the freeze last November.
“EirGrid is now applying these criteria to all data center applicants, many of which have decided not to progress their developments,” stated a spokeswoman. Microsoft and Amazon have yet to respond to the news, but the former is reportedly looking into alternate locations in the UK, Spain, and Germany, while the latter is also reportedly trying to expand beyond Ireland. Due to more people needing electricity infrastructure, it is getting harder to build new data centers all over the world.
It was recently discovered that developers in some regions of London may face a moratorium on new buildings until 2035 as a result of data centers consuming too much electricity grid capacity. Concerns about extreme weather have also emerged in recent weeks, following the outages of Google Cloud and Oracle data centers in the UK due to the 40°C (104°F) heatwave.