Due to the ongoing digitisation of our society, the use of data centres has increased in recent years. In 2017, data centres in the Netherlands collectively received 1.6 billion kWh through the national electricity grid. This had gone up to 2.7 billion kWh in 2019. This means that 2.7 percent of total electricity supplied via the national grid went to data centres.
The increase in electricity is mainly due to the fact that existing and new data centres are becoming larger. In 2019, 90 percent of the electricity went to data centres with a supply exceeding 7.5 million kWh. This was still 84 percent in 2017.
The increase in the electricity supply occurred both in the municipalities of Amsterdam and Haarlemmermeer, where traditionally many data centres are located, and outside these regions. Between 2017 and 2019, 65 percent more electricity was supplied to the municipalities of Amsterdam and Haarlemmermeer. In the rest of the Netherlands, growth stood at 68 percent over this period.
It is the first time that CBS has analysed the electricity consumption of data centres. Until now, only estimates of consumption based on the installed electrical capacity are available. Electricity supply from the national grid gives a better picture than estimates based on capacity, because the exact capacity, efficiency and capacity utilisation rate of most data centres are unknown.
This publication was released as part of VIVET, a partnership between The Netherlands’ Cadastre, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), RVO.nl, Rijkswaterstaat and CBS, commissioned and financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Change and the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations.