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Amsterdam halts data centre construction until 2020

Written by Wed 17 Jul 2019

Space, energy, and regulatory concerns prompt suspension of data centre construction

The municipal authorities in Amsterdam have suspended the construction of new data centres, despite the city claiming to be Europe’s largest data centre hub.

The Dutch capital has seen an influx of facilities in recent years, thanks to the city’s favourable taxes and relatively cheap electricity, but the city now says construction is out of control, and is affecting the property market and power networks.

Data centres have become indispensable facilities for almost all residents, businesses and institutions, but they also take up a lot of space and, due to the high energy consumption, take a big load on the electricity grid,” the city said in a statement (translated).

“At present, municipalities have hardly any instruments at their disposal to steer where the data centres are located, or which requirements they must meet.”

The Dutch Data Center Association said it was surprised by the city’s decision to give the red light to facility construction.

“Our excellent data centre infrastructure is a magnet for (international) tech companies and brings a lot of employment with it,” the group said in a statement. “We are surprised that a rigorous decision like this is being taken right now and so suddenly.”

Take stock

City councillor for Sustainability and Spatial Development, Marieke van Doorninck, said officials will use the break to explore regulations that can give the city more control over facility construction and force operators to contribute to the city’s sustainable goals.

“We are going to set requirements in the area of ​​making available residual heat free of charge for the heating of homes and the use of green energy,” she said.

Amsterdam’s municipal authorities have invited the data centre sector to contribute to policy discussions, with a view to finalise new regulation by the end of 2019.

Written by Wed 17 Jul 2019


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