US Energy Secretary reveals tech companies' power demand drives green energy growth.


Large companies' production and operations consume a significant amount of electricity, which drives the development of power generation projects.

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm stated in an interview with Reuters that the Biden administration is urging big tech companies to invest in new green power projects to meet their growing demand.

With the widespread adoption of technologies such as generative artificial intelligence, electricity demand has unexpectedly surged, leading to the need for energy-intensive data centers. This development might impact Biden's goal of achieving decarbonization of the power sector by 2035 to address climate change.

Granholm mentioned in the interview, "We have been in discussions with data companies. These large companies are committed to achieving net-zero emissions and want to see clean baseload power."

She stated that the government has discussed the possibility of companies jointly using small modular nuclear reactors for nuclear power generation and could place joint orders to reduce costs.

"If tech companies are going to draw clean power from the grid, they should bring that power themselves," she said.

"Currently, a lot of dialogues are happening between tech companies and utilities, as well as between tech companies and nuclear power companies."

She did not disclose the names of the companies involved in the talks.

According to a report last week by the Electric Power Research Institute, data centers may use 9% of the total U.S. electricity generation by the end of this decade, more than double the current consumption.

NuScale is the only company authorized by U.S. regulators to build small modular reactors, but it had to cancel its only project at the Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory last year.

Granholm said that NuScale did not have enough purchase agreements to support the project's power generation. "This is a lesson: if you are going to build new nuclear power projects, you must have clear power purchase agreements."

Last week, the White House announced a series of new measures to promote the development of new nuclear power plants in the U.S., which the administration views as a crucial source of carbon-free power needed to tackle climate change. However, there are currently no new nuclear power plants under construction in the U.S.

The Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia is the newest nuclear reactor in the U.S., but when it comes online commercially in 2023 and 2024, it will already be years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget.

Granholm also noted that tech companies are exploring other clean energy technologies, including geothermal energy.



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