Google invests in BlackRock-backed solar developer in Taiwan amid AI boom

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The aerial view shows the mutual benefits of combining solar energy production and agricultural land use. Farmers can lease their land to solar energy developers, diversifying their income streams while maintaining agricultural activities in the remaining areas. This symbiotic relationship supports sustainable development by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting the adoption of renewable energy.

Shih-wei | E+ | Getty Images

Google It will partner with BlackRock to develop a 1 gigawatt pipeline of new solar capacity in Taiwan, the U.S. tech company announced Monday as it seeks to reduce carbon emissions amid the rise of energy capacity and the rise of artificial intelligence. wants to reduce

The deal will see Taiwanese solar developer New Green Power make an investment approved by regulators to “facilitate the construction of its large-scale solar pipeline”.

Google did not disclose how much it is investing in BlackRock portfolio firm New Green Power.

The company said the investment will promote clean energy on Taiwan's local electricity grid, and help Google reach its goal of achieving net zero emissions across all its operations and value chain by 2030.

The new solar capacity will help power Google's data centers and cloud region in Taiwan, the press release said. Some of the clean energy capacity will also be offered to Google's chip suppliers and manufacturers in the region, he said.

“We expect up to 300 purchases. [megawatts] Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and associated Energy Attribution Certificates (Taiwan Renewable Energy Certificates or T-RECS) to help meet electricity demand from our data center campuses, cloud region and office operations in Taiwan ) through this pipeline to capture solar energy. Paterson Corio, global head of data center energy at Google, said in a blog post on Monday.

According to global consulting firm EY, Taiwan produces about 60 percent of the world's semiconductor chips and an even larger share of the latest AI processors. Chip manufacturing facilities are among the most energy-intensive facilities in the world because chip manufacturing is a long and complex process.

However, 97% of Taiwan's energy comes from non-renewable sources, including coal and natural gas, according to data from the Energy Administration under Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs.

For this there is a need to promote renewable energy sources.

“As we see demand for digital services powered by AI and data-centric technologies grow, investing in clean energy becomes imperative,” said David Giordano, BlackRock's global head of climate infrastructure. “

Singapore said in May it was pushing for green data centers as explosive demand for artificial intelligence puts pressure on energy resources. The government said it aims to provide at least 300 MW of additional capacity in the near term, with more to come through “green energy deployment”.

Renewable energy growth in the Asia-Pacific is growing strongly, but from a low base, an April 23 report from Boston Consulting Group showed. By 2030, renewable energy is forecast to account for 30% to 50% of the energy mix in most markets in the region, the report said, adding that “significant investment” is needed.

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