According to Wired, Microsoft’s mega data center in the Netherlands has been exposed to environmental problems and opposed by local farmers. The report points out that the data center has two main problems. One is the footprint, and the other is the nitrogen emissions problem.
A mega data center needs to cover at least 10,000 square feet (About 929 square meters). But the Dutch government introduced restrictions in 2022, and Microsoft’s under-construction data center was exempted.
Another issue is nitrogen emissions. The Netherlands produces four times as much nitrogen as any other EU country and is working to cut those emissions in half by 2030. However, Microsoft managed to get a “tolerance decision” (tolerance decision) from the local environmental agency, allowing Microsoft to go ahead with the data center construction in the case of excessive nitrogen emissions.