U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Google Aims to Make Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal Power
December 5, 2007
Can a company that built its reputation on software tools and computer
server farms parlay that expertise into a clean energy revolution?
Google believes that it can. The company plans to spend tens of
millions of dollars on both renewable energy research and development
and related investments in 2008, with the goal of making renewable
energy less expensive than coal power. That goal is embodied in the
name of the new initiative, "RE<C," which will initially focus on
advanced solar thermal power, wind power, enhanced geothermal systems,
and other potential breakthrough technologies. RE<C is currently
hiring engineers and energy experts to achieve those goals.
RE<C will be part of Google's commercial enterprise, but it will also
work with Google's philanthropic arm, Google.org. Google.org is
currently teamed up with two companies that could have potential for
RE<C: eSolar, Inc., which envisions combining many 25-megawatt solar
power tower facilities to form large solar power plants; and Makani
Power Inc., which envisions capturing high-altitude winds through some
type of aerial wind turbine. See the Google press release, the Google
Clean Energy Web page, and the Web sites for eSolar and Makani Power.