Google buys stake in Taiwan solar energy firm owned by BlackRock

By Simon Jessop and Susanna Twidale

LONDON (Reuters) – Google said it has taken a stake in Taiwan’s Recent Green Power and will buy as much as 300 megawatts of renewable energy from the BlackRock fund-owned firm to assist cut its carbon emissions and people of suppliers.

Firms are being pushed to chop greenhouse gas emissions linked to their operations and value chains by investors and Big Tech firms have been amongst essentially the most ambitious of their targets.

Google goals to continuously run on carbon-free energy wherever it operates. Yet sector growth in demand for data-processing capability to power artificial intelligence has seen emissions jump.

Taiwan, a serious site for Google’s cloud technology with an information centre and company offices, still relied on fossil fuels to generate nearly 85% of its power, Amanda Peterson Corio, Google’s Global Head of Data Center Energy told Reuters.

“The goal of this investment is absolutely to support the construct out of a large-scale solar pipeline in Taiwan,” Corio added.

Regions reminiscent of Asia Pacific will be harder to decarbonise as a result of less developed infrastructure and restrictions limiting the flexibility of corporate users to purchase green power.

Recent Green Power, owned by a fund managed by BlackRock’s Climate Infrastructure business, was certainly one of the leading solar developers and operators in Taiwan, BlackRock’s Global Head of Climate Infrastructure David Giordano told Reuters.

Google and BlackRock each declined to specify the scale of the equity stake being taken in NGP, but Corio said the investment was expected to drive the equity and debt financing for the build-out of its 1 gigawatt (GW) pipeline.

Taiwan is targeting 20 GW of solar capability by 2025 and as much as 80 GW by 2050, BlackRock said.

Corio said that in addition to using a few of the solar energy it buys to drive its own operations, Google would also give you the chance to supply some to its suppliers and manufacturers within the region.

Sharing with suppliers would help Google lower its so-called Scope 3 emissions, those tied to its value chain, she added.

(Editing by Alexander Smith)

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