Google Invests Millions in Green Energy

November 29th, 2007 - 12:50 am ICT by admin  

Google will spend hundreds of millions of dollars to jumpstart alternative energy technology, cofounder Larry Page announced Tuesday. Google will focus efforts on solar thermal power, wind power, and enhanced geothermal systems, the company said in a statement.

Google plans to spend tens of millions of dollars in 2008, as the project hires engineers and energy experts. Capital expenditures on renewable energy projects will reach hundreds of millions of dollars, the company said.

What does Google know about renewable energy? Page said the company has learned quite a bit about through “designing and building large-scale, energy-intensive” data centers. “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.”

Solar Thermal Promising

Clearly the first line of attack will be solar thermal technology, which Page said “provides a very plausible path to providing renewable energy cheaper than coal.” In addition, Page said, Google is “aware of several promising technologies, and believes there are many more out there” with the potential to deliver cost-effective green energy.

“With talented technologists, great partners, and significant investments, we hope to rapidly push forward,” Page said. “Our goal is to produce one gigawatt of renewable energy capacity that is cheaper than coal.” Google said a gigawatt can power a city the size of San Francisco. “We are optimistic this can be done in years, not decades.”

Google’s investment would represent a sizable percentage of total investment in alternative energy. Wednesday, the National Venture Capital Association announced that total VC investment in the first three quarters of 2007 reached $2.6 billion, on track to double 2006’s full-year investments of $1.8 billion. Clearly Google is considering its investments to be good business as well as good deeds.

‘Good business’

“If we meet this goal,” said…

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