Finance

Zeewolde city council decides on controversial data center Facebook

Meta, the company behind Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp, wants to build a gigantic data center in the Dutch municipality of Zeewolde in Flevoland in the coming years. Such data centers are necessary for the gigantic data traffic resulting from our internet use.

The arrival of the company also has positive consequences for employment. About 400 people would structurally work at the data center, regardless of its construction and the employment opportunities at suppliers.

Controversial

However, the arrival of the data center to Zeewolde is controversial. Opponents point to the disadvantages. For example, the company takes up a lot of space, which could otherwise be used as agricultural land.

The servers in the building will also demand a lot of green energy, which can therefore not be used elsewhere. Also, during hot periods, water would have to be used to cool the equipment, which could lead to a shortage of groundwater. Finally, the large colossus leads to landscape pollution.

make a decision

Tonight the nineteen members of the council of Zeewolde have to make a decision. The meeting starts at 7:00 PM. The votes of the two seats of the PvdA/GroenLinks fraction can be decisive.

The supporters of PvdA/GroenLinks want to postpone or refuse to grant an agreement. However, that does not necessarily mean that the councilors will also vote against, says party leader of the PvdA/GL Yvonne van Bruggen to RTL Z.

According to Van Bruggen, no final decision has yet been made about a yes or no. “We will only announce definitively tonight what we are going to vote on. Our members have indicated that they prefer a postponement or ‘no agreement’ in view of the energy measures that we have to take together. We will of course include those considerations of our members in our final position. .”

Eye for benefits

But Van Bruggen also emphasizes that he is aware of the advantages of the arrival of the data center, which can be in the interest of the municipality. For example, she points to the possibility of heating houses with the residual heat from the data center, in a future in which homes may have to ‘get off gas’.

The arrival of the data center could also provide economic opportunities such as employment for Zeewolde and the region, and support from the company for social goals.

She nuances the claim on the green electricity produced. “Such companies buy certificates in wind farms off the coast, and thus meet their own needs.”

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