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31 Aug 2021, 13:36
Julian Wettengel

Google to invest €1 bln in digital infrastructure and clean energy in Germany

Clean Energy Wire

US technology company Google has announced it will invest 1 billion euros in digital infrastructure and clean energy in Germany from now until 2030. As part of this, Google will team up with energy company Engie to purchase clean electricity and ensure that operations in Germany run at nearly 80 percent carbon-free electricity on an hourly basis from 2022. The company will purchase power from 23 different renewables projects – some of which will be newly-built, while others are existing facilities that no longer receive feed-in tariffs – using so-called power purchase agreements (PPA). German Energy Agency (dena) head Andreas Kuhlmann said the deal underlines the growing importance of PPAs, which are becoming a “central pillar of the energy transition.” German economy minister Peter Altmaier welcomed Google’s investment decision. “This shows: green energy has become a central factor in the choice of location,” he said.

PPAs are seen as a location advantage for industry in Germany. Many companies keep a keen eye on green PPAs in order to get a better handle on power prices. These contracts between a power generator and a consumer – for example, between a wind park and a factory – specify the terms for the sale of electricity and guarantee long-term price security. But the volume of new renewable energy projects backed by PPAs in Germany trails that of other European countries, partly because wholesale power prices in the country are relatively low.

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