A new report from Host in Ireland estimates that investment in data centres in Ireland will reach €9 billion (approx. £7.8 billion) by 2021.

The Data Centre: Q1 2018 Report, which was released as an update to the 2017 Report released in January, included estimates that approximately €1.1 billion will be invested in data centre construction this year. This amount will bring investment to date to €5.7 billion by year-end.

The latest information includes 46 data centres in Ireland but does not include estimates for the proposed Apple data centre in Athenry, which has been delayed for over two years by local protests and zoning issues. That project, should it proceed, could add an additional €850 million to total estimates of Irish data centre investment.

Garry Connolly, president and founder of Host in Ireland, noted that the increased investment in data centres is bolstered by new projects and expansions that have been announced in the first quarter of 2018, particularly in the Dublin metro area. Since last quarter, planned and operational data centres have increased by a total capacity of 60 MW.

“Whilst the start of the year has been very positive for the market and €1 billion is anticipated to be spent in 2018,” he said, “the medium to longer term sustained growth of the industry will still depend on the availability of energy options in the Dublin metro.”

There are currently 46 data centres operating in Ireland, with the largest group near Dublin, where Amazon and Facebook have located facilities southwest of the city. Data centres used 1.56TWh in 2017, calculated assuming a power utilization factor of 42.5 percent. Full capacity in Q1 2018 totalled 480MW, expected to grow to over 1200 MW by 2024.

The original report, released in January, estimated that the total investment in Irish data centres would total €8 billion by 2021, but powerful growth in Q1 2018 has helped to bolster estimates by €1 billion. An article by Garry Connolly of Host In Ireland attributes Irish success in the data centre industry to what he terms the Five P’s: Policy, People, Pedigree, Pipes and Power.