Digital objectives of the Netherlands under pressure due to lack of coherent policy

Digital objectives of the Netherlands under pressure due to lack of coherent policy

Amsterdam, June 9 – Trade association Dutch Data Center Association today published its annual market report “State of the Dutch Data Centers” containing an overview of the Dutch data center market. With the theme ‘Strategy for our Digital Future’, the industry organization outlines a vision for coherent policy. According to the DDA, good policy is necessary to achieve the government’s digital goals and to maintain the Netherlands’ digital leadership position. Especially now, when a future-proof policy that takes into account the current developments in both the sector and society is needed.

​We are digitizing at a rapid pace. People, companies and governments are using more and more digital services and data. Most of our earning capacity is now digitized. In addition, digitization ensures the development of smart solutions to combat major problems.

Digitization is impossible without digital infrastructure. Our robust digital infrastructure (consisting of connectivity, data centers and cloud) has made digitization of the Dutch economy and society possible over the past 30 years. And, as we have experienced in the past two years, also resilient.

“The Dutch cabinet policy speaks clear language with terms like digital leadership, digital hub and digital innovation country,” says Stijn Grove, director of the Dutch Data Center Association (DDA). “This calls for a well thought out national strategy based on sufficient knowledge about the digital economy and the importance of digital infrastructure. However, the reality is that the digital infrastructure is increasingly being put under pressure by looking too simply and too unilaterally at only the impact, and not the added value. Uncoordinated policies from the various levels of government mean that the Netherlands is increasingly being passed over as a country of business internationally.”

Strategy for our Digital Future

The eighth annual market report charts the Dutch data center market through a survey of DDA participants. Among other things, the research presents the expected growth of the sector (regionally, nationally and internationally) and looks ahead to sustainability initiatives that the sector is pursuing. The report also provides perspective on what is needed for coherent data center policy, in good cooperation between government and industry.

The report shows that the number of commercial data centers is stabilizing at 185 locations, after several years of decline. However, the consolidation of the number of private data centers continues apace to 6570 locations, down 345 from 2021. Over the next 5 years, the sector can expect a growth of 6.8% CAGR in square meters and 9.4% CAGR in installed electrical capacity. Energy use measured by CBS (December 2021) is 0.39% of total Dutch use.

The study shows that by now 90% of all power used by data centers comes from green sources in which the type of greening can be divided into different stages. Because the sector is fully electrified, there are no direct emissions (NEA 2022, lower than 0.0%). In addition, 41% of DDA participants are already reusing their residual heat to heat their own facilities or are connected to a heat network (and more projects are in the pipeline). Data thermal energy can be used beneficially for the energy transition and can keep home heating affordable.

Taking a look inside a data center

Traditionally, the market report is published during the National Data Center Day, which DDA is organizing for the eighth time this year. Data centers throughout the Netherlands will open their doors to interested parties. In Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Leeuwarden and Venlo, among other places, you can visit a data center and take a look behind the scenes of the Internet.

“With the National Data Center Day we want to introduce people to a sector that is still unknown to many. This while data centers play a role in almost everything we do every day. From online banking and working in the Cloud to gaming, Netflix and online shopping. Data centers are part of all these digital services that everyone uses almost every day”, says Stijn Grove.



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