Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Google Wants Green Energy, Cheaper, Faster

Today, Google announced it's newest initiative: RE<C.

RE<C aims to develop energy from renewable energy sources rather than more costly coal; initially focused on advanced solar thermal power, wind power technologies, enhanced geothermal systems and other potential breakthrough technologies. To accomplish this task with the urgency Google has put on the issue, it is hiring engineers and energy experts who will lead the research and development work. Next year, tens of millions of dollars will be invested by Google on the RE<C initiative, which will begin with efforts with solar thermal technology and investigating enhanced geothermal systems, and other renewable energy investments.

"We have gained expertise in designing and building large-scale, energy-intensive facilities by building efficient data centers," said Larry Page, Google Co-founder and President of Products. "We want to apply the same creativity and innovation to the challenge of generating renewable electricity at globally significant scale, and produce it cheaper than from coal."

Coal is currently the primary power source for many worldwide, supplying 40% of the world's electricity. Developing electricity from renewables that is cheaper than coal is key to reducing greenhouse gases.

Google is already working with two companies that have promising scalable energy technologies. eSolar Inc., from Pasadena, CA, specializes in solar thermal power with potential technology to produce utility-scale power cheaper than coal. Makani Power Inc., out of Alameda, CA, is developing high-altitude wind energy extraction technologies aimed at harnessing the most powerful wind resources with the potential to satisfy a significant portion of current global electricity needs.

More Information
Read about Google's Green Commitment and RE<C Initiative

Read Google's Press Release on the Launch of RE<C

Ongoing Commitments
Today's announcement represents just the latest steps in Google's commitment to a clean and green energy future.

Google has been working hard on energy efficiency and making its business environmentally sustainable. Last spring the company announced its intention to be carbon neutral for 2007, and is on track to meet that goal. To this end, the company has taken concrete steps to reduce its carbon footprint and accelerate improvements in green technology, including:

  • Developing cutting-edge energy efficiency technology to power and cool its data centers in the U.S. and around the world.
  • Generating electricity for its Mountain View campus from a 1.6 Megawatt corporate solar panel installation, one of the largest in the U.S.
  • Accelerating development and adoption of plug-in vehicles through the RechargeIT initiative, including a $10 million request for investment proposals (http://www.google.org/recharge/)
  • Joining with other industry leaders in 2007 to form the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, a consortium that advocates the design and use of more energy-efficient computers and servers (http://www.climatesaverscomputing.org/).
  • Working on policies that encourage renewable energy development and deployment, such as a U.S. Renewable Energy Standard, through Google.org.

1 comment:

Steve Yang, P.E. said...

As an Electrical Engineer with back ground in building automation and energy efficiency, I say to Google,
the quickest and sure return on dollars invested is in eliminating waste and in enhancing efficiency in existing building infra-structure.
Another area over looked is the lack of performance on many installed solar systems. Even the illustrious 1.6MW system at the GooglePlex may not be performing as expected.
I'm not discouraging putting dollars into new ventures at all, just want to put ideas and practices into proper perspective.