Energy consumption concerns loom over Apple's proposed Irish data center

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2016
In a hearing in Galway, Ireland on Tuesday, Apple fielded concerns from locals regarding a planned data center that is shaping up to be the country's largest consumer of electricity, with some estimates placing usage rates surpassing Dublin's entire daily supply.




When Apple announced intent to open a pair of European data centers last year, it said the 850 million euro (about $950 million) Irish facility would be powered by 100 percent renewable energy. While those plans still hold, Apple attorney Rory Mulcahy at yesterday's meeting revealed the company is not proposing on-site generators, but will instead connect to the national grid, the Irish Independent reports.

The new information seemingly contradicts Apple's own Environmental Impact Statement released last June, which noted the 263,770-square-foot building would be powered in part by 18 generators. In any case, Mulcahy said the facility's power will come from a local renewable energy provider. Apple relies on energy partners at other server facilities, including a large complex in North Carolina that boasts one of America's largest privately owned solar farms.

Despite Apple's efforts to keep its Galway operation green, residents have expressed concern over the build's environmental impact. Oisin Collins, a representative for a residents group, said Apple would ultimately draw 300 Megawatts of power if and when the data center finishes expansion in 15 years. That number represents approximately eight percent of Ireland's national capacity.

Responding to Collins, Mulcahy said Apple's current timeline does not require an increase in Ireland's generation capacity. It is not clear if the comments take into account forthcoming expansions to the state-owned EirGrid power transmission network.

In light of appeals concerning potential negative impact to energy supply, wildlife, climate change and other environmental factors, the Galway county council has stipulated that Apple reapply for permits prior to constructing each of eight planned server halls. The first hall is currently under construction. When the data center goes online it will serve up iTunes, iCloud and other internet services content to European consumers.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Any farms and houses downwind of that monster will be able to turn off their central heating and save a packet.  Local climate change - ftw!
    levisingularityireland
  • Reply 2 of 52
    correctionscorrections Posts: 1,372member
    cnocbui said:
    Any farms and houses downwind of that monster will be able to turn off their central heating and save a packet.  Local climate change - ftw!
    Just so you are aware: climate change caused by human activity is not the result of releasing too much heat, but by dumping particles into the air and increasing CO2.
    "Human activities contribute to climate change by causing changes in Earth’s atmosphere in the amounts of greenhouse gas- es, aerosols (small particles), and cloudiness. The largest known contribution comes from the burning of fossil fuels, which releases carbon dioxide gas to the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases and aero- sols affect climate by altering incoming solar radiation and out- going infrared (thermal) radiation that are part of Earth’s energy balance. Changing the atmospheric abundance or properties of these gases and particles can lead to a warming or cooling of the climate system. Since the start of the industrial era (about 1750), the overall effect of human activities on climate has been a warm- ing in uence. The human impact on climate during this era greatly exceeds that due to known changes in natural processes, such as solar changes and volcanic eruptions." -NOAA http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/pd/climate/factsheets/howhuman.pdf
    Using solar, wave or wind energy captures power without billowing clouds of greenhouse gasses into atmosphere (unlike burning trash or oil or coal or wood).
    edited May 2016 ai46baconstangjony0dsdmessagepad2100dysamoriamontrosemacsjbdragon
  • Reply 3 of 52
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,687member
    One of my dreams is to become so rich that I would be able to take a private jet and fly over to Europe for example, and have dinner, and then fly back home when I'm done eating.

    When I get back home, I will lecture people on how this Planet is doomed, and how everybody needs to do their part in saving the environment. I will claim that all automobiles are evil, and that everybody should only ride bikes in the future. I of course will have my own fleet of limos and super cars, but that's because I need to travel around to eco conferences and lecture the under class on how they should live.

    I will also claim that oil is evil, while at the same time getting funding from middle eastern, oil producing, extremist countries. I might even sell my company to them, for the right price. I'll probably also make a few movies, about some poor polar bears living on a sheet of 2' x 2' ice. If I can't get any real footage to suit my narrative, I'll just CGI the whole damn movie. The idiot public and the intended audience wont really care, so it makes no difference.

    gatorguyrazormaiddesignrlkruppmonstrosity[Deleted User]techprod1gyJanNLlongpathsteveh
  • Reply 4 of 52
    levilevi Posts: 344member
    cnocbui said:
    Any farms and houses downwind of that monster will be able to turn off their central heating and save a packet.  Local climate change - ftw!
    Just so you are aware: climate change caused by human activity is not the result of releasing too much heat, but by dumping particles into the air and increasing CO2.
    "Human activities contribute to climate change by causing changes in Earth’s atmosphere in the amounts of greenhouse gas- es, aerosols (small particles), and cloudiness. The largest known contribution comes from the burning of fossil fuels, which releases carbon dioxide gas to the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases and aero- sols affect climate by altering incoming solar radiation and out- going infrared (thermal) radiation that are part of Earth’s energy balance. Changing the atmospheric abundance or properties of these gases and particles can lead to a warming or cooling of the climate system. Since the start of the industrial era (about 1750), the overall effect of human activities on climate has been a warm- ing in uence. The human impact on climate during this era greatly exceeds that due to known changes in natural processes, such as solar changes and volcanic eruptions." -NOAA http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/pd/climate/factsheets/howhuman.pdf
    Using solar, wave or wind energy captures power without billowing clouds of greenhouse gasses into atmosphere (unlike burning trash or oil or coal or wood).
    I think he was kidding 
    fastasleeppulseimagescnocbuiirelandradarthekatmessagepad2100longpathsteveh
  • Reply 5 of 52
    levilevi Posts: 344member
    Is the data center actually in a castle then? :-)
    fotoformatmattinozpulseimagespalegolastechprod1gy1983messagepad2100dysamoria
  • Reply 6 of 52
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    apple ][ said:
    One of my dreams is to become so rich that I would be able to take a private jet and fly over to Europe for example, and have dinner, and then fly back home when I'm done eating.

    When I get back home, I will lecture people on how this Planet is doomed, and how everybody needs to do their part in saving the environment. I will claim that all automobiles are evil, and that everybody should only ride bikes in the future. I of course will have my own fleet of limos and super cars, but that's because I need to travel around to eco conferences and lecture the under class on how they should live.

    I will also claim that oil is evil, while at the same time getting funding from middle eastern, oil producing, extremist countries. I might even sell my company to them, for the right price. I'll probably also make a few movies, about some poor polar bears living on a sheet of 2' x 2' ice. If I can't get any real footage to suit my narrative, I'll just CGI the whole damn movie. The idiot public and the intended audience wont really care, so it makes no difference.

    Thank god all you do is sit on your ass and "dream".
    Pleasant dreams.
    baconstangrepressthislostkiwirevenantcrowleylatifbpirelandtechprod1gymessagepad2100dysamoria
  • Reply 7 of 52
    djkfisherdjkfisher Posts: 115member
    As folks from the USA, we sometimes don't realize the impact of power usage in places like Ireland. For example, most hotels do not have ice machines since making ice is so expensive. On a recent trip to Ireland, I would ask the front desk for ice and they would give me an 8oz glass of ice and they would hope that I would not ask for more. So a data center that uses that much power...............Well good luck with that
  • Reply 8 of 52
    razormaidrazormaid Posts: 299member
    apple ][ said:
    One of my dreams is to become so rich that I would be able to take a private jet and fly over to Europe for example, and have dinner, and then fly back home when I'm done eating.

    When I get back home, I will lecture people on how this Planet is doomed, and how everybody needs to do their part in saving the environment. I will claim that all automobiles are evil, and that everybody should only ride bikes in the future. I of course will have my own fleet of limos and super cars, but that's because I need to travel around to eco conferences and lecture the under class on how they should live.

    I will also claim that oil is evil, while at the same time getting funding from middle eastern, oil producing, extremist countries. I might even sell my company to them, for the right price. I'll probably also make a few movies, about some poor polar bears living on a sheet of 2' x 2' ice. If I can't get any real footage to suit my narrative, I'll just CGI the whole damn movie. The idiot public and the intended audience wont really care, so it makes no difference.

    Favorite post ever
    <grin>

    P.S. Can you CGI me some abs?  LOL 
    baconstangpulseimagesmessagepad2100longpathstevehapple ][
  • Reply 9 of 52
    designrdesignr Posts: 524member
    djkfisher said:
    As folks from the USA, we sometimes don't realize the impact of power usage in places like Ireland. For example, most hotels do not have ice machines since making ice is so expensive. On a recent trip to Ireland, I would ask the front desk for ice and they would give me an 8oz glass of ice and they would hope that I would not ask for more. So a data center that uses that much power...............Well good luck with that
    What do you suppose is the cause of this issue in places like Ireland?

  • Reply 10 of 52
    jpellinojpellino Posts: 614member
    So just put a mess of solar pan... oh wait.  The British Isles you say?  Oooh.  Tough break.  
    designrrevenanttdknoxRayz2016odinsdad
  • Reply 11 of 52
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,162member
    bobschlob said:
    apple ][ said:
    One of my dreams is to become so rich that I would be able to take a private jet and fly over to Europe for example, and have dinner, and then fly back home when I'm done eating.

    When I get back home, I will lecture people on how this Planet is doomed, and how everybody needs to do their part in saving the environment. I will claim that all automobiles are evil, and that everybody should only ride bikes in the future. I of course will have my own fleet of limos and super cars, but that's because I need to travel around to eco conferences and lecture the under class on how they should live.

    I will also claim that oil is evil, while at the same time getting funding from middle eastern, oil producing, extremist countries. I might even sell my company to them, for the right price. I'll probably also make a few movies, about some poor polar bears living on a sheet of 2' x 2' ice. If I can't get any real footage to suit my narrative, I'll just CGI the whole damn movie. The idiot public and the intended audience wont really care, so it makes no difference.

    Thank god all you do is sit on your ass and "dream".
    Pleasant dreams.
    He was channeling Al Gore.
    thewhitefalconapple ][pulseimagesstevehjbdragon
  • Reply 12 of 52
    Now...convert the perpetual flow of rain water into power and the problem goes away .....
    pulseimages
  • Reply 13 of 52
    NumNutsNumNuts Posts: 14member
    djkfisher said:
    As folks from the USA, we sometimes don't realize the impact of power usage in places like Ireland. For example, most hotels do not have ice machines since making ice is so expensive. On a recent trip to Ireland, I would ask the front desk for ice and they would give me an 8oz glass of ice and they would hope that I would not ask for more. So a data center that uses that much power...............Well good luck with that
  • Reply 14 of 52
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,124member
    levi said:
    Is the data center actually in a castle then? :-)
    All that thermal mass would be useful.
    Next data centre will be in castle Macloud, Scotland.
  • Reply 15 of 52
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    designr said:
    djkfisher said:
    As folks from the USA, we sometimes don't realize the impact of power usage in places like Ireland. For example, most hotels do not have ice machines since making ice is so expensive. On a recent trip to Ireland, I would ask the front desk for ice and they would give me an 8oz glass of ice and they would hope that I would not ask for more. So a data center that uses that much power...............Well good luck with that
    What do you suppose is the cause of this issue in places like Ireland?

    The economy keeps busting and booming: tough to plan capital investment. 
  • Reply 16 of 52
    NumNutsNumNuts Posts: 14member
    designr said:
    djkfisher said:
    As folks from the USA, we sometimes don't realize the impact of power usage in places like Ireland. For example, most hotels do not have ice machines since making ice is so expensive. On a recent trip to Ireland, I would ask the front desk for ice and they would give me an 8oz glass of ice and they would hope that I would not ask for more. So a data center that uses that much power...............Well good luck with that
    What do you suppose is the cause of this issue in places like Ireland?

    Actually ice simply isn't a big thing here hence the lack of ice machines in hotels generally. It's not very hot...20C is rare, which is why the place is attractive for data centres. Pubs will give you a pint (twice those 8oz) of ice, no problem. 
    edited May 2016 ireland[Deleted User]dysamoria
  • Reply 17 of 52
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,312member
    There's no problem with the electricity supply in Ireland or most of Europe. It's reliable. Ice machines arent a thing in hotels (or in households) because it's not very hot. 
    cnocbuiirelanddysamoriamontrosemacs
  • Reply 18 of 52
    jagnutjagnut Posts: 17member
    Ask for ice in your drink at the pub and you likely get get the response " One lump or two"?
    pulseimages
  • Reply 19 of 52
    diplicationdiplication Posts: 607member
    stevedownunder said:
    Now...convert the perpetual flow of rain water into power and the problem goes away .....
    Dam, there's got to be a way to do that!
    edited May 2016 mattinoz
  • Reply 20 of 52
    diplicationdiplication Posts: 607member
    NumNuts said:
    Actually ice simply isn't a big thing here hence the lack of ice machines in hotels generally. It's not very hot...20C is rare, which is why the place is attractive for data centres. Pubs will give you a pint (twice those 8oz) of ice, no problem. 
    I thought a pint at the pub was 20oz?
    pulseimages
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