Google Buys Stake in Taiwan Solar Power Firm Owned by BlackRock

The Google sign is shown on one of the company's office buildings in Irvine, California, US, October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The Google sign is shown on one of the company's office buildings in Irvine, California, US, October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake
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Google Buys Stake in Taiwan Solar Power Firm Owned by BlackRock

The Google sign is shown on one of the company's office buildings in Irvine, California, US, October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The Google sign is shown on one of the company's office buildings in Irvine, California, US, October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Google said it has taken a stake in Taiwan's New Green Power and could buy up to 300 megawatts of renewable energy from the BlackRock fund-owned firm to help cut its carbon emissions and those of suppliers.

Companies are being pushed to cut greenhouse gas emissions linked to their operations and value chains by investors and Big Tech firms have been among the most ambitious in their targets.

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

Taiwan, a major site for Google's cloud technology with a data 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 really to support the build out of a large-scale solar pipeline in Taiwan," Corio added.

Regions such as Asia Pacific can be harder to decarbonise due to less developed infrastructure and restrictions limiting the ability of corporate users to buy green power.

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

Google and BlackRock both declined to specify the size 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 capacity by 2025 and up to 80 GW by 2050, BlackRock said.

Corio said that as well as using some of the solar power it buys to drive its own operations, Google would also be able to offer some to its suppliers and manufacturers in 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)



Italy's Antitrust Takes Aim at Google over Personal Data Usage

FILED - 09 January 2024, US, Las Vegas: The Google logo can be seen on the Internet company's pavilion at the CES technology trade fair. Photo: Andrej Sokolow/dpa
FILED - 09 January 2024, US, Las Vegas: The Google logo can be seen on the Internet company's pavilion at the CES technology trade fair. Photo: Andrej Sokolow/dpa
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Italy's Antitrust Takes Aim at Google over Personal Data Usage

FILED - 09 January 2024, US, Las Vegas: The Google logo can be seen on the Internet company's pavilion at the CES technology trade fair. Photo: Andrej Sokolow/dpa
FILED - 09 January 2024, US, Las Vegas: The Google logo can be seen on the Internet company's pavilion at the CES technology trade fair. Photo: Andrej Sokolow/dpa

Italy's antitrust agency said on Thursday it had launched an investigation into online search giant Google and its parent company Alphabet over alleged unfair commercial practices involving users' personal data.
The request for consent that Google sends to its users to connect its multiple services "could constitute misleading and aggressive commercial practice", the watchdog said.
This "incomplete and misleading," information supplied to users fails to clarify the impact their consent may have on the use their personal data, the antitrust authority, which is in charge of overseeing consumer rights, added.
Google offers a wide range of online tools, including video platform YouTube, email service Gmail, and Maps.
The antitrust body said Google presented its request for users' consent in a way that could limit their freedom of choice, by inducing them to agree to a combined usage of personal data by different Google services.
"We will analyze the details of this case and will work cooperatively with the authority," a Google spokesperson said in a statement.
Under Italian legislation companies found in breach of consumer rights rules face fines ranging from 5,000 euros to 10 million euros.