Science & Technology

Google & BlackRock to Develop New Solar Capacity in Taiwan

The 1-gigawatt pipeline of a new solar facility in Taiwan, co-developed by Google and BlackRock, can boost energy capacity and cut carbon emissions amid the artificial intelligence boom.

Google & BlackRock to Develop New Solar Capacity in Taiwan

Google has acquired a stake in New Green Power (NGP), a Taiwanese solar company owned by BlackRock climate infrastructure business. The deal gives the tech giant rights to up to 300MW of solar power to run its data centres and facilities in the region. At the same time, this investment will serve as development capital for NGP’s 1 GW pipeline of new solar projects.

Google aims to power its operations with carbon-free energy. However, its advances in artificial intelligence require a larger data-processing capacity, which triggers a surge in carbon emissions. Thus, the fresh investment will not only boost clean energy on Taiwan’s local electricity grid but also help Google reach its net-zero goals across all its operations and value chains by 2030.

The new solar capacity will help power Google’s data centres and cloud region in Taiwan. Some of the green energy will be offered to Google’s regional chip suppliers and manufacturers.

According to the press release, Taiwan, a significant site for Google’s cloud technology, where its data centre and company offices are located, still relies on fossil fuels to generate nearly 85% of its power. Despite the large share of fossils used, the country sees significant progress in renewables. In 2021, for example, Taiwan relied on imports of fossil fuels for 97.7 % of its total energy supply.

Certain areas in the Asia Pacific region face challenging decarbonising processes due to less developed infrastructure and legal restrictions limiting the ability of corporate users to buy green power. While Taiwan manufactures about 65% of the world’s semiconductors and almost 90% of the most advanced chips, being highly reliant on a stable and reliable energy supply, its indigenous energy sources are minimal, and there are no domestic sources of fossil fuels. Nevertheless, Taiwan is working on its alternative energy capacity, targeting 20 GW of solar capacity by 2025 and up to 80 GW by 2050, says BlackRock.

“As we witness growth in demand for digital services, powered by AI and data-centric technologies, it becomes imperative to invest in clean energy. The partnership is a testament to the shared commitment between Google and BlackRock to driving the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

David Giordano, BlackRock’s Global Head of Climate Infrastructure

Nina Bobro

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Nina is passionate about financial technologies and environmental issues, reporting on the industry news and the most exciting projects that build their offerings around the intersection of fintech and sustainability.