The city of Frankfurt intends to bring in controls on future data centre builds, over concerns they are taking up too much space and using too much energy. The move comes after similar concerns were raised by the city of Amsterdam in 2019, which went on to implement a moratorium on new data centre building projects for a year and bring in new controls on future projects.
This is becoming an increasingly important issue globally (earlier in May 2021 Singapore also introduced new building controls on data centre development.)
Frankfurt is basing its initial consideration on a local magistrate’s report. The city is looking to strike a balance between the economic benefits and the demands on space and power. Proposals include building taller data centres to reduce the total footprint as well as recovering waste heat and using it to support district heating. The report identifies data centres’ power consumption as being of particular concern as it could make the city’s ability to meet its climate goals more difficult.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out.