The Next Leap

COMPETITIVE IRELAND IN THE DIGITAL ERA

TREND 6: A Green Dividend

with one comment

Energy crises (rising fuel prices, strategic fuel supply concerns across Europe and the United States), and an increasing popular awareness of climate change, is placing a premium on renewable energy.

This is evident in practical steps taken by businesses that rely on data centre capacity to reduce their carbon footprints and energy use. The image above shows a new Microsoft data centre currently under construction at Castle Grange in West Dublin. The 51,000 sq metre facility will use ambient air conditioning to reduce energy consumption while cooling tens of thousands of servers. Microsoft is a member of the Green Grid, a global consortium of 92 information technology companies including Dell, IBM, Hewlett Packard, and Intel. In April 2008, the Green Grid consortium signed a memorandum of understanding with the US Environmental Protection Agency committing to work toward reducing data centre energy use and carbon emissions. Other examples of the digital sector’s increasing concern about digital issues include BT Group’s announcement of a target of 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020, and Google becoming the biggest investor in the United States in research into geothermal energy.

The move toward renewable energies and the growing importance of these energies to multinational companies active in the digital sector, is an opportunity for Ireland. The Government has a strong record of commitment in this area. The 2007 Energy White paper commits Ireland to generating 33% of electricity from renewable sources. ESB’s Strategic Framework to 2020, announced in March 2008, will see major investment in renewable energy, and puts the organisation on the path to achieving “carbon net-zero” by 2035. Over €10bn will be invested in renewables (€4bn directly invested in renewable energy projects, €6.5bn spent facilitating renewables including smart metering and smart networks in the period to 2020). This emerging strength in renewables can be an integral part of Ireland’s global brand, and indeed to some extent already is: Ireland was recently placed number ten in the world in the Ernst & Young renewables index.

Continue to Options for Government Action in A Green Dividend

Written by johnnyryan

13/12/2008 at 01:55

One Response

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  1. Not to be cynical, but let’s start any branding with Secure – High-Tech – Educated – and then add Green to the mix, and some really smart imagery. Yes, this could do the trick, and our climate, as noted elsewhere, can actually help!

    I am rather less clear on the IP concept. In the real world – not the fantasy place occupied by some content owners, and to a lesser extent creators, and some lawyers, with their collective no-relation-to-reality ideas about indefinitely trying to extend copyright – users tend to get what they want as they want it. At good quality, and often with features the real owners couldn’t be bothered to, or genuinely can’t make a business case to, provide, such as obscure language subtitling.

    But, as above, I certainly back localisation.

    For the rest, we should certainly be working on smart / aware networks, smart meters, machine-to-machine fixed and mobile communication and the latest security technologies.

    J Doyle

    20/12/2008 at 11:57


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