Google Invests in Renewable Energy

On Tuesday, November 27 Google announced a renewable energy initiative to which it will be allocating significant resources.  A key part of this initiative is the creation of a renewable energy research and development (R&D) group it is calling "RE<C".  This mission of this group is to "develop electricity from renewable sources cheaper than electricity produced from coal." 

The initial objective of RE<C is to build one gigawatt (enough electricity for a city the size of San Francisco) of renewable energy capacity that is cheaper than coal.  The initial technologies RE<C will be focusing on are advanced solar thermal power, wind power technologies, and enhanced geothermal systems.  Google is currently hiring to staff this new initiative.

To complement these efforts, Google.org will make strategic grants and investments in organizations working to produce renewable energy at a cost below that of coal-fired power plants.  They are already working with two companies — eSolar (solar thermal power) and Makani Power Inc. (high-altitude wind energy extraction). 

Google can be contacted at renewables@google.com regarding renewable energy investment, R&D or project opportunities.  Please note that Google states "Because of the expected volume, we will not be able to sign NDAs at this stage. If there is confidential information that you cannot include without an NDA, do not include it in your email."

Google stated that in 2008 it plans to spend "tens of millions on research and development and related investments in renewable energy."  In addition, as part of its capital planning process, Google also intends to invest "hundreds of millions of dollars in breakthrough renewable energy projects which generate positive returns."

For more information on this announcements and Google’s other "green" initiatives:

Media coverage on Tuesday’s announcement includes: