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Facebook faces backlash as new data centre to use as much electricity as a city

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In this week’s Gossage, our columnist explores the growing backlash against Facebook’s latest data centre in the Netherlands.

Campaigners against a new Facebook data centre in the Netherlands have warned that it will use as much electricity as a major city. And that the country will need to alter all of its climate change targets if the project is approved. 

The new 410-acre server farm for Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram is projected to consume 1,380GWh of electricity annually – equivalent to over 10% of Dutch wind production. The local council at Zeewolde (population 22,000) gave Meta permission to build the centre in December. But the sale of the land still requires central Government approval. And the new Dutch government is under pressure to veto it.

They are aware that Meta also has a large server in nearby Denmark, where by 2030 power servers are forecast to require 15% of Danish electricity generation. Over in Ireland it is reckoned that by 2028, data centres will be using 30% of its electricity. Oh, brave new world.

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