Ep. 5 – Resistance Against Data Centers in the Netherlands – Europe Talks Back
The Netherlands is one of the top data center markets in Europe, hosting approximately 200 facilities such as Google and Microsoft hyperscale data centers which exceed 5,000 servers and 3,000 square kilometres. The development of new projects has spurred debate and protests in the country, with local communities opposing the building of such centers, denouncing their effect on the landscape and energy infrastructure. In February, the Dutch government announced a nine-month block on permits for data centers larger than 10 hectares while new stricter rules are worked out. The Minister for Housing and Spatial Planning cited a lack of space in the country and the “disproportionate amount” of renewable energy that hyperscale data centers require. While the government is working on new regulations, local communities fight for their territories. On this episode of Europe Talks Back, host Alexander Damiano Ricci meets with Susan Schaap, Chair of the DataTruc Zeewolde Foundation, and Julia Rone, post-doctoral researcher at the Minderoo Centre for Democracy and Technology at the University of Cambridge, to discuss the resistance against data centers in the Netherlands.