Google and Google.org-Google's
philanthropic partner-anticipates investing hundreds of millions of dollars in what it considers
"breakthrough technologies," including geothermal power, solar thermal power, and wind power.
This new initiative will draw on Google's experience in creating and building its
energy-efficient data centers that are already in place. Google plans to build on the extensive
work already done in renewable and green energy fields.
In the Official Google Blog, Larry
Page, Co-Founder and President of Products writes, "Technologies have been developed that can
mature into industries capable of providing electricity cheaper than coal. Solar thermal
technology, for example, provides a very plausible path to providing renewable energy cheaper than
coal. We are also very interested in further developing other technologies that have potential to
be cost-competitive and green."
In 2008 alone, the Internet search company plans to invest
tens of millions of dollars, in part, with the hiring of 20 to 30 engineers, scientists, and others
to help investigate and create these technologies. Currently, Google has jobs openings listed for
Renewable Energy Engineer, Head of Renewable Energy Engineering, Director, Green Business Strategy
& Operations, Director of Other and Investments Manager for RE Page writes, "To lead
this effort, we're looking for a world-class team. We need creative and motivated entrepreneurs and
technologists with expertise in a broad range of areas, including materials science, physics,
chemistry, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, land acquisition and management, power
transmission and substations, construction, and regulatory issues."
Google isn't gazing
into a hazy crystal ball for when this inexpensive energy source will be on-line. Google says that
it is planning to create this cheap alternative energy in the next several years. It plans to
generate one "gigawatt" of renewable energy that costs less to produce than a gigawatt of coal-fed
energy. A "gigawatt" is defined as a billion watts, which is the amount of power it takes to power
a city the same size as San Francisco according to Google.
As Google Co-Founder Sergey
Brin wrote on the Google Blog, "It is unreasonable to think that people are going to stop
traveling or using electricity. Technology is the answer."
One of the goals of RE Another
reason behind RE A positive financial return is one of the other important
underlying reasons for Google's investment in renewable energy.
Director, Dr. Larry Brilliant, explained, "Google.org's hope is that by funding research on
promising technologies, investing in promising new companies, and doing a lot of R&D ourselves, we
may help spark a green electricity revolution that will deliver breakthrough technologies priced
lower than coal."
Part of the investment in alternative energy will come from the
Google.org's three million shares of Google stock it received when it was launched by Google.
Along side RE Google's Mountain
View campus already has one of the largest solar panel installations in the US. However, Google
doesn't have any plans to become a green power company, but rather it plans to license out the
renewable technologies it helps create. It also looks to create partnerships with renewable energy
In the Official Google Blog, Page writes, "Our new initiative isn't just about
Google's energy needs; we're seeking to accelerate the pace at which clean energy technologies are
developing, so they can rival the economics of coal quickly."
Some of Google's current
green partners include the RechargeIT, an initiative that works to develop plug-in vehicles in
which Google has already invested $10 million and the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, which
works to create more energy-efficient computers.
Gregory Miller, Managing Director,
Investments, Google.org posted to the Official Google blog, "last summer we announced an RFP
(request for investment proposals) as part of our RechargeIT aiming to accelerate the adoption of
plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and vehicle-to-grid technology. . . We selected just under 40
companies in categories including batteries, components and vehicle-to-grid solution to advance to
the next round of review. Look for us to announce investments in some of these interesting
companies during the first quarter of 2008."
Google's clean energy website also lists two
companies it is partnering with on the RE