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Google to Power Dutch Data Center with Solar Energy, Facebook to Build Housing in Silicon Valley - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Google will purchase all the electricity generated by the largest solar park in the Netherlands over the next decade to power a recently opened data center housing thousands of servers, the US internet company and energy provider Eneco said on Friday.

It is part of Google’s ambition to switch its data centers and offices entirely to renewable energy this year, helped by the steep fall in prices for wind and solar energy.

The contract with Eneco, for which no financial details were disclosed, will supply renewable energy for “many months to come, maybe even years”, Google’s European energy manager Marc Oman said.

The agreement comes as the Netherlands makes a push to boost its renewable energy production and is investing 12 billion euros in 2017 in offshore wind farms.

The Eemshaven data center, which cost roughly 600 million euros and opened in 2016, is one of four Google operates in Europe.

In another tech-related news, Reuters said that the shortage of housing in California’s Silicon Valley has gotten so severe that Facebook Inc on Friday proposed taking homebuilding into its own hands for the first time with a plan to construct 1,500 units near its headquarters.

The growth of Facebook, Alphabet Inc’s Google and other tech companies has strained neighborhoods in the San
Francisco Bay area that were not prepared for an influx of tens of thousands of workers during the past decade. Home prices and commute times have risen.

Tech companies have responded with measures such as internet-equipped buses for employees with long commutes.
Facebook has offered at least $10,000 in incentives to workers who move closer to its offices.

Those steps, though, have not reduced complaints that tech companies are making communities unaffordable, and they have mostly failed to address the area’s housing shortage.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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