Search Engine giants Google have announced a landmark investment deal into South African solar power this week as the US-based company continues to diversify it’s interests in the energy market.
Rick Needham, Director, Energy & Sustainability wrote on the official Google blog that the driving force behind the investment was to help speed up the adoption of renewable energy. After similar investments in the US and Europe, Needham explained that in the current climate this investment in after will have ‘greater impact’ than putting their cash anywhere else.
The full total of $12 million USD (103 million Rand) will be put to work at the Jasper Power Project, a 96 megawatt solar photovoltaic plant in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. One of the flagship renewable energy projects in South Africa, the vast installation will peak at delivering enough electricity to power 30,000 homes and businesses across the cape.
“When we consider investing in a renewable energy project, we focus on two key factors. First, we only pursue investments that we believe make financial sense. South Africa’s strong resources and supportive policies for renewable energy make it an attractive place to invest—which is why it had the highest growth in clean energy investment in the world last year.” sais Needham,
“Second, we look for projects that have transformative potential—that is, projects that will bolster the growth of the renewable energy industry and move the world closer to a clean energy future.”
Currently powered by a 44GW grid, South Africa is a primary consumer of fossil fuels, but the government is keen to enlist the help of investors like to Google to make the most of it’s potential for renewables; with a climate fit for solar and wind, and enough coastline for tidal energy to make a contribution, too.
Similar to the goals laid out for Europe by the EU for 2020, South Africa’s leaders also have set a benchmark of generating 18GW of green energy by 2030, and set a leading example to the rest of Africa.
Google’s renewable energy investment portfolio now counts over $1 billion of capital put into various ventures around the world, and Rick Needham says the vast empire of Google is ‘excited’ to uncover the next project they can invest in, no matter where in the world it might be.
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