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
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
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
Google.org's Executive 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 companies.
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
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