The planned construction of a new data center by Apple could cost the Irish taxpayers several billion euros in the coming years and jeopardize the stability of the electricity network in the country. This is the opinion of the American American Allan Daly, who has been trying for months to prevent construction – so far with success. Already on Friday the Irish High Court could decide that Apple may have to look for another location.
Apple wants to build its second data center of this kind in the Irish Athenry, a small town with nearly 5,000 inhabitants. Originally it was planned that the company was already at the end of the year, but so far Apple could not even begin the construction.
The plant is expected to require around 240 megawatts of power after completing its completion and would therefore account for almost 7% of the country’s total energy consumption, or the current of around one million Irish. Apparently, the Irish government is planning to expand Ireland’s irrigation network at the expense of the taxpayer, which would cost several billion euros over the coming years.
Apple itself, on the other hand, invests “only” 850 million euros for the construction of the data center and profits from the still low corporate taxes in the country. The environmental technician Allan Daly and his manageable number of colleagues find this unjust and point out that a far more fair deal between Apple and the population should be concluded.
The residents of the Irish small town and other proponents of the project hope for jobs that Apple wants to create in the data center. Critics complain about the fact that this is a maximum of 150 posts, which, in exceptional cases, can only be filled with the largely inadequately qualified employees from the region.
Apple itself asserts that the Irish data center with renewable energies want to operate. However, the multimillion-dollar group does not invest in this or hardly into its own infrastructure; rather, the country’s existing capacity is used. A positive effect for the environment or the “current mix” of the country would thus not be for the time being. Allan Daly, on the other hand, points to Denmark, where Apple operates its first data center in Europe. There the company was obliged to establish a district heating system, which uses the enormous waste heat of the servers.
In einer eigens gegründeten Facebook-Gruppe hauen sich die Gegner und Befürworter des Projekts Argumente, Beschimpfungen und Drohungen um die Ohren – auch an Verschwörungstheorien und Verdächtigungen mangelt es mittlerweile nicht. So soll der erst vor einigen Jahren zugezogene Daly der Strohmann verschiedener Apple-Konkurrenten und -Gegner sein.
Apple und das Steuerparadies Irland
The matter is particularly piquant because there is a continuing dispute between the European Union, Ireland and Apple about the repayment of unlawfully received tax subsidies. After several years of investigation, the EU has accused the company of depriving the Irish or European taxpayer of a total of 13 billion US dollars of the construction of a shield company. The Irish government, which has been under the “rescue umbrella” of the state community in the controversial period, is appealing to Apple’s side and affirming that there was no preference for US Americans. Apple describes the demands of the European Union as a “disgrace for European citizens” and is now defending itself against the relevant decisions.