The Next Leap

COMPETITIVE IRELAND IN THE DIGITAL ERA

Options for Government Action

with 2 comments

Though Government is already doing much in this area, two additional measures are suggested: A first proposal, drawing upon trend 5 “Cloud Computing”, above, might be to establish Ireland as the leading EMEA (European, Middle East, Africa Region) Green Data Centre Location. Despite the high cost of energy in Ireland at present, the country has a natural advantage as a data centre location: our temperate climate means that significantly less energy is required to cool equipment in Ireland than might be required elsewhere. Air-conditioning costs are among the highest concerns for data centre operators. Successfully meeting the 33% renewable energy supply target by 2020 will also enhance Ireland’s security of supply and our branding as a green energy destination.

Second, establish a multi-disciplinary group convened by SEI and SFI to consider whether research into “silicon offsetting” would be a useful niche around which a national research focus could be generated. Silicon offsetting is the use of ICT to prevent generating unnecessary carbon, such as using video conferencing to avoid flights to face-to-face meetings. By promoting research on renewable energies, and identifying technologies through which “silicon offsetting” could be achieved, including behavioural, infrastructural, transport, and manufacturing change, Ireland can refresh its identity as a revitalised, green innovation society. Traffic flow problems in urban areas, and lingering infrastructural challenges outside the capital make Ireland a logical location for testing new technologies for working from home. This is a potentially rich area for commercialisation by indigenous technology firms.

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Written by johnnyryan

13/12/2008 at 01:56

2 Responses

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  1. This one might be a good starter, as all heavy data center users are seeking hard. And there is a legacy of little- or even un-used data centers, especially around DUblin, from the first “Web boom” (and bust). But we would need to sort out the ESB’s capacity and resilience issues.

    The teleworking is more than timely but have you really talked this over with Irish employers. I don’t know any, even in high tech, who really “get it.”

    P Thomas

    18/12/2008 at 10:03

  2. Fully support studying this, a direction the world is seeking. Just one caveat, touched on above: we’ve all heard the questions about adequacy of Ireland’s supplies. In this capital-intensive, no-quick-fix area, have we sorted this matter out? Data centres are “power hogs” and need stability above all else. But if yes, this, including provision of secure redundancy, and all the associated services we can dream up, have great potential.

    J Doyle

    20/12/2008 at 11:58


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