The 2021 Data Centres Ireland Conference, held on November 16th and 17th, was once again sponsored by ESB. This has been a strong partnership since 2019 and the return to an in-person event for 2021 was welcomed by many across the industry. The 2021 event saw a strong attendance from key sectors including those involved in data centre design, build services and energy management. It was an exciting opportunity for ESB as a company to engage again directly with key stakeholders in the industry.
ESB had a strong selection of speakers across key presentations and panels at the conference. Speakers discussed a variety of issues; however, one key theme spoke through these, the need for Ireland to move to a low carbon future.
Key Speaking Points
Brian Armstrong, Strategy Manager at ESB Customer Solutions, and Paul Fitzpatrick, Head of Customer Services at ESB, gave a key presentation on how the data centre sector needs a blended approach to realise a low carbon future. Key energy saving initiatives undertaken by ESB were highlighted throughout the presentation including ESB Smart Energy Services’ involvement in the V&A Museum in Dundee City which was the winner at the Scottish Green Energy Awards 2018. The innovative greenhouse project undertaken by ESB Smart Energy Services in the UK was also highlighted, particularly the parallels on waste heat schemes which data centres have been particularly innovative in.
John Regan, Business Development, Strategy & Regulation Manager at ESB Telecom spoke on a connectivity panel discussion alongside Kevin Foley, CFO at Aqua Comms and Fergus Innes, Senior Vice President at Crosslakes Fibre. The panel had a detailed discussion on how Ireland’s fibre infrastructure is being utilised and if it is being utilised in the most effective way for both businesses and society.
Future Energy System
Finally, Dermot McArdle, Business Markets Manager at ESB, spoke on a panel discussion on what Ireland’s future energy system will look like. Dermot noted that whilst there have been challenging discussions over the past few months on Ireland’s energy system, the outlook is positive. Dermot said that as Ireland moves toward a low carbon future, data centres will have a role to play, and the sector is consistently innovating to assist Ireland in reaching these targets.
This year’s conference was a great success for all involved, challenging discussions were had on how we can all work towards a low carbon future, and truly innovative solutions were presented by a wide variety of stakeholders.