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    New extractive frontiers in Ireland and the moebius strip of wind/data

    Bresnihan, Patrick and Brodie, Patrick (2020) New extractive frontiers in Ireland and the moebius strip of wind/data. Sage Journals, 4 (4). ISSN 1645-1664

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    This article maps the interconnections between two emergent resource frontiers in Ireland: wind and data. Adding to literature about extraction and extractivism, we account for how these expanded extractive frontiers are mobilised within self-sustaining and automated formations. In Ireland, digital infrastructures such as data centres are developed by multinational tech companies to avail of a naturally cool climate and business environment friendly to their investment, part of a wider extractive system by which data are made valuable for their expansive operations. Wind farms similarly make use of Ireland’s climate to generate energy, often used to power digital infrastructures, and are increasingly embedded within ‘smart’ energy and data systems. Wind and data are seen discretely as ‘abundant’ resources, their infrastructures built on terra or (offshore) mare nullius, and their operations ‘green’. However, their infrastructures are entangled with non-renewable energy systems and tax evasive capital, and built across existing communities and environments through policy, planning logics and increasingly automated methods of maintenance and optimisation. Through what we call ‘the moebius strip of wind/data’, wind and data infrastructures are increasingly formidable in dictating our energy futures. In this article, we articulate how they are connected and how we can disentangle them, especially in their operation across urban and rural geographies.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Cite as:1.Bresnihan P, Brodie P. New extractive frontiers in Ireland and the moebius strip of wind/data. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space. 2021;4(4):1645-1664. doi:10.1177/2514848620970121
    Keywords: Data; frontiers; extraction; wind energy; Ireland;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Item ID: 15824
    Identification Number: 10.1177%2F2514848620970121
    Depositing User: Patrick Bresnihan
    Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2022 09:07
    Journal or Publication Title: Sage Journals
    Publisher: Sage Publications
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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