TSMC is said to be in wide ranging talks about the significant investment required to open a new chip fab in Saxony, Germany. Private investment may be as high as €10 billion (~$11 billion), according to "people familiar with the matter" talking to Bloomberg reporters. Public funds might end up matching that amount, to reel in this strategic investment, but the European Commission will have to greenlight any state aid. It is understood that TSMC's first fab in Europe will concentrate on 28nm production.
If the plans reported upon by Bloomberg are correct, TSMC will work in partnership with NXP Semiconductors, Robert Bosch, and Infineon Technologies to provide a wide base for the venture. The partnership will spread the €10 billion (~$11 billion) investment risk. TSMC partners' local business knowledge will help in both planning and the raising of state aid. Public funds won't quite meet the private investment level, at least initially. Bloomberg's report says that state subsidy levels will start at around the €7 billion mark ($7.75 billion), but could well rise to match the private investment capital.
If the EU Chips Act was designed to catch the biggest fish in semiconductors, TSMC and its partners' plans will be hard to resist. According to Bloomberg, it is typical for similar projects to gain 40% funding through EU subsidies, as the region strides to double its global semiconductor production share by 2030. Approval for these state subsidies will have to come from the European Commission, and negotiations over the size of subsidies will understandably be intense.
TSMC's 28nm Node
If the negotiations run smoothly, Bloomberg says that the Saxony chip fab project could be approved by TSMC by August. It won't be a leading edge facility, says the source, instead it will be tasked with churning out 28nm chips. A report shared by AnandTech last summer says that TSMC is "strongly encouraging its customers," still using its oldest nodes to migrate their mature designs to 28nm, which will become a new base level semiconductor component fab choice. While PC enthusiasts might turn their noses up at 28nm, the output will be welcomed by manufacturers who fared badly during the chip drought of the early 2020s.
In the wake of Bloomberg's report, the Taiwanese chip-making giant has confirmed to Reuters that it is still evaluating the possibility of building a fab in Europe. However, that doesn't really confirm nor deny anything of substance. Also remember, at this stage the plans could still change or fall through, even if the unnamed sources speaking to Bloomberg are highly credible.
Will Intel be a Neighbor?
We reported last month that Intel was still in negotiations with the German government over the scale of subsidies on offer. It was looking for a further $5 billion in subsidies, which will be used to establish a new chip fab near Magdeburg.
The country is back to charcoal and gas more then ever...
Another recent exception is California, but they had to institute some localized power cuts due to wildfires, not because of failures or undersupply.
Heh. Well, I can only guess what you're referring to, about the US grid, since you didn't bother to cite any references or spell out exactly what you were talking about.
The last one I had over here was about 10 years ago, unless we want to count a safety switch tripping in my parent's apartment with very old internal lines. And I lived everywhere from the big city to a small rural village in the middle of nowhere in that time period. Never any issues. There was a lot of dumb panic end of last year and nothing happened. Total overreaction.
There is also this:
Even still, Germany has substantial periods where the overage is so critical they actually pay people to consume electricity at time. And with all this, German CO2 emissions were higher in 2021 and 2022 than they were in 2018, 2019, or 2020.
The effects on Germany's industrial sector have been rough:
"Oct 7, 2022: (CNN) Rocketing energy costs are savaging German industry...."
And German industry is set to see much higher energy prices in the near future:
"...FRANKFURT, Jan 30 (Reuters) - German industry is set to pay about 40% more for energy in 2023 than in 2021, before the energy crisis triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a study by Allianz Trade said on Monday, citing contract expiries and delayed wholesale pricing effects...."
Texas lost 100% of their wind power and 96%+ of their solar for several days time. Their nuclear plants fared much better: they lost 25% of capacity (one plant), and that only for a few hours time.
The real story was the 75% capacity loss in the natural gas sector ... but the little-reported reason for that is actually quite interesting. Most of the plants were functional, but unable to receive gas through the pipeline network, as a few years earlier, ERCOT replaced the propane-powered pumps with "green" electric ones. When your backup generators are themselves powered by the grid they're supposed to backfill, it's a rather obvious design flaw.
Energy trade with neighboring countries has existed since before I was even born. I'm around since before the Berlin wall fell. Plus, "it won't work when they start using renewable energy sources, too" is an utter bs argument:
They literally already do so, and more so than Germany!!! Green is renewable! Do you even understand how any of this works? Because, it really doesn't look like it...
Also, energy costs are capped for both industry and private households. Plus, again, energy prices are going down again right now. Else, those plants wouldn'thavebeentaken off the grid.
"April 23, 2023: Poland's grid operator disconnects wind, solar facilities after oversupply of renewable energy...Poland officials have acknowledged an upgrade to its power grid its necessary if the country is to cope with the transmission of energy from renewable and nuclear sources..." You understand how a price cap works? You're still paying those higher costs, just in the form of government taxes. If price caps were a good idea, the government would simply legislate the price of everything. According to your own press, the total price tag works out to over $200 billion, with nearly half being used to finance the price caps themselves.
"German parliament approves €200-billion energy relief plan....."
That long, eh? I had my first graduate degree by. And energy trade in years past was primarily unidirectional -- from areas with perennial oversupply using their comparative advantage to sell surplus abroad. What's happening now is entirely different: nations like Germany exporting excess during one period of the day, then turning around and buying back the fossil-fuel variant when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine. They're essentially using their foreign neighbor's grids as gigantic storage batteries.