Google is taking its funds and innovation to back research in renewable energy sources, announcing an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars into projects that they hope will generate electricity at a cheaper price than coal.

An excerpt from TechNewsWorld:

Google’s initiative, which it has dubbed “RE<C” — Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal — will begin with a focus on solar thermal, wind power and geothermal technologies. The company expects to spend “tens of millions of dollars” on the push in 2008 and likely hundreds of millions over coming years.

“We have gained expertise in designing and building large-scale, energy-intensive facilities by building efficient data centers,” said Google co-founder Larry Page. “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.”

While the Web search company’s core competency is not energy, it takes more than code to organize all the information on the Web. Optimum power utilization and efficiency are the heart of managing the all of Google’s information.

The initial goal is to generate 1 gigawatt of electricity from renewable sources. Google’s philanthropic arm will be in charge of the project, which includes partnerships and investments in companies working on renewable energy projects.

And from Sergey Brin’s interview with Richard Wray of Guardian, it does seem that Google is high on energy being another big avenue for revenue.

More information:

Google expands into alternative energy (AP)

Google has energy for new business (InternetNews)

Google plans to develop cheaper solar, wind power (Bloomberg)

Will Google’s backing be a shot in the arm for green initiatives?


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