Netherlands power shortage disrupting data centre industry growth
Thu 3 May 2018
The Dutch Data Center Association (DDA) warned the government of the Netherlands that the power grid is growing too slowly to support technological developments, and is putting the country’s data center industry at risk.
In a letter to Eric Weibes, Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate, the DDA alerted the government to capacity issues in the Dutch infrastructure, which it believes will inhibit growth in the technology industries, particularly in data centers, which have enormous power requirements.
Infrastructure is one of the primary considerations for companies looking to build new data centers to house and transfer business-critical information. A power grid without the capacity to accommodate development could cause enterprises to look elsewhere in the EU for data center locations.
In the letter to the Minister, the DDA noted, “The success of the digital economy and its competitive position internationally depends a lot on how good the energy infrastructure is and how it grows.”
The grid is under the most pressure near Amsterdam, where expanding electrical capacity is difficult due to high population density and an already maxed-out power grid. The DDA noted that specifically, three areas in the Amsterdam urban region require urgent action: Schiphol Rijk, Amsterdam Zuidoost and the Amsterdam Science Park.
Capacity issues are also causing problems for development of green electric solutions, which are another consideration for modern data centers and technology companies.
The DDA has asked the government to consider an immediate plan of action to manage current and future requirements for power grid expansion and improvement, including setting aside significant money for investment in infrastructure, as well as a task force, and an overall plan of action.
Just last week, a widespread power outage closed the Schiphol airport, causing major disruptions for travelers throughout Europe. Two additional major power outages, one in March and the other in January, affected the majority of the city of Amsterdam, causing problems for businesses, citizens, public transportation and emergency services.
While Amsterdam has been called the heart of the digital economy for the EU, with experts citing the skilled workforce, business-friendly government programs, and superior connectivity as major draws for technology companies, the DDA is concerned that the capacity issues could put the country’s status and future technological development opportunities at risk.