Wednesday, 10 February 2016 - 10:52
Internet firms, data centers fear poor Dutch energy security
Dutch data centers, hosting companies and other internet service providers are demanding more energy security, concerned about the reliability of power supply in the Netherlands with the switch over to green energy. Michiel Steltman, director of Digital Infrastructure Netherlands, thinks that the potential of nuclear power should be considered in the decision making to ensure long-term stability, the Financieele Dagblad reports. "All the focus on greening and local generation is fine, but it is extremely unwise to exclude the option for central generation, for example by means of nuclear power." Steltman said to FD. "Digital economy means not less, but more energy consumption. So we will need all forms of generation." The Netherlands is an increasingly important digital hub with many foreign internet companies settling in the country, according to the newspaper. Microsoft and Google, among others, use Dutch Data centers to serve their users in the rest of Europe and the world. And with that the demand for power increases. In the Amsterdam region alone the establishment of data center led to an increase of nearly 16 percent in recent years. Grid manager Liander predicts that the growth will double in the next five years. The internet industry is working on being more efficient and reducing its power consumption. The use of green energy in the industry is also on the rise, for example Google will be using offshore wind energy to power its new premises in Eemshaven. But Steltman worries that this will not be enough. "Power must be available at all times in the digital economy, especially when we will soon connect all kinds of devices to the internet and get self-driving cars." he said to the newspaper. "My concern is that the reliability is jeopardized if we do not keep all options open."