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How much energy will new semiconductor factories burn through in the US?

A crane seen at a construction site.
The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. facility under construction in Phoenix, Arizona, US, on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. | Caitlin O’Hara/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A new report warns that a boom in computer chip manufacturing in the US could fuel demand for dirty energy, despite companies’ environmental claims. The solution for manufacturers, surprisingly, might be to act more like other big tech companies chasing climate goals.

New semiconductor factories being built in the US by four of the biggest manufacturers — Intel, TSMC, Samsung, and Micron — could use more than twice as much electricity as the city of Seattle once they’re operational. These companies claim to run on renewable energy, but according to an analysis by nonprofit Stand.earth, that’s not entirely true.

Semiconductors happen to make up a big chunk of a device’s carbon footprint. And unless companies turn to clean energy, they…

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