nEven before the public has seen it, the Frankfurt Greens want to return the urban location concept for the settlement of data centers to the municipal authorities for revision. They consider it insufficient that the planning department is primarily concerned with the question of where companies are allowed to erect buildings for data storage. Instead, the planning department headed by SPD city councilor Mike Josef, together with the environment department of Rosemarie Heilig (Grün), would have to create a “data center master plan” that clarifies how the further expansion of the industry will take place so that Frankfurt adheres to its climate targets and climate protection concepts. Because: “An unchecked expansion of the data center will torpedo the Frankfurt climate targets.”
This is what it says in a proposal that members of the Circle of Sustainable Data Centers have put their party on the agenda of the District Membership Assembly for this Saturday and that has a good chance of becoming a party. In it, the authors clearly criticize the planning department’s intention to concentrate the data centers even more in selected areas: “The so-called cluster plan of the city is a surrender to the desire of the IT operators to pile up and concentrate their data centers in individual parts of the city”, is it[calledClimatepolicyaspectsontheotherhandarehardlytakenintoaccount
“No building permits for data centers”
The Greens want to give those responsible a year to fill in these gaps – and until the master plan is in place, the city should no longer issue building permits for data centers. There is no moratorium on this, says Ingo Stürmer from the Seckbacher Greens, who wrote the application with a hat. The building law offers instruments to delay approval procedures.
Among other things, it is the subject of waste heat that applicants want to see more attention. The data centers generated far more of this than the city could use. “Frankfurt is becoming the city of waste heat.” The requirements for energy efficiency and operation with green electricity, as envisaged by the planning department, “only limited the impact on the climate, urban space and the population”. Sealing of surfaces, noise and urban warming should also be taken into account, demands city councilor Friederike von Franqué, one of the co-authors of the application. The locations have to leave space to accommodate companies next to the data centers that use their waste heat, be it factories, nurseries or residential areas. “Why is the city experimenting with geothermal energy in the new Rebstockbad? You could have done a model project with a data center here, ”adds Stürmer.
“Settlement must be well thought out”
Josef’s location concept can be a building block for the grand plan, and the companies affected should also be brought to the table. “We are not against data centers, we know that we need them all, but their location must be well thought out,” demands von Franqué. The aim is to better network the various specialist areas.
The fact that all proposals come late because the size of data centers are already close together in the city and more are being built does not, in the eyes of the proponents, prevent them from rethinking now. “During the election campaign, we posted ‘Rethink Frankfurt’, and we now have to implement that,” says Stürmer.