Because farmers stop, land becomes available. Data centers can be built on it. And the Netherlands is a popular location, because we have an excellent infrastructure for international talent, just think of Schiphol. One and one equals two, you might think.
In North Holland’s Dutch Crown they already have experience with it. Microsoft and Google are setting up data centers there. The residual heat would go to the greenhouses and the whole would be nicely embedded in the landscape. But using the residual heat for greenhouses is not profitable and embedding has not been successful, even though Microsoft’s gigantic building has been painted green. In addition, the center consumes half of the energy generated by the numerous windmills in the region.
Recently, Meta, the new name of Facebook’s parent company, was permission from the Ministry of Economic Affairs to build his own substation to provide his data factory with the necessary energy. Grid operator Tennet is against this, partly because rich companies can buy priority. Just this gigantic data center used up about 10% of the total amount of sustainable energy generated by windmills or solar panels in the Netherlands. As many as 460,000 households.
When two and a half years ago the Spatial Strategy Data Centers saw the light of day, it is expected that these data centers will consume 12% of the Dutch electricity by 2030. Given the intended consumption of Meta in Zeewolde, the percentage will be much higher. However, it had to be local politics that would determine whether the centers were desirable. It seems that local politics in Zeewolde see more advantages than disadvantages, and that will not only be the case in Zeewolde. Almere, Lelystad, Diemen, Groningen, Appingedam and Winschoten are developing according to the FD similar projects.
It will not work for national energy policy, even though data does not produce farmers’ nitrogen and a data center is an economic magnet locally. National direction is needed, said GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver after the local faction of his party welcomed Meta.
Last night in the Senate, a proposal from the Party of the Animals was adopted by all opposition parties (the cabinet does not have a majority in the Senate). The government should not sell any land to Meta for the time being. The senators believe that the next cabinet must first come up with a new vision for spatial planning and data centers. Last week, the House of Representatives rejected a motion to the same effect.
It is unclear what the motion means legally for the arrival of the data center of Facebook parent company Meta. Outgoing State Secretary Raymond Knops, responsible for Central Government Real Estate, says he will “study” the motion. The deal involves approximately 80 hectares of land, approximately 100 football fields.
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Data does not produce farmers’ nitrogen, but costs mountains of energy – Municipalities incapable of deciding whether to use the countryside after the farmer? – Food log