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Google Plans to Investigate and Develop Renewable Energy

Discussion in 'News' started by Polaris573, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. Polaris573

    Polaris573 Senior Moderator

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    Google announced Tuesday that it intended to develop and help stimulate the creation of renewable energy technologies that are cheaper than coal-generated power. Google said it would spend hundreds of millions of dollars, part of that to hire engineers and energy experts to investigate alternative energies like solar, geothermal and wind power. The effort is aimed at reducing Google’s own mounting energy costs to run its vast data centers, while also fighting climate change and helping to reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels.

    “We see technologies we think can mature into very capable industries that can generate electricity cheaper than coal,” said Larry Page, a Google founder and president of products, “and we don’t see people talking about that as much as we would like.” The initiative will be based in Google’s research and development group. The company also said that Google.org, the philanthropic for-profit subsidiary that Google seeded in 2004 with three million shares of its stock, would invest in energy start-ups. Google says its goal is to produce one gigawatt of renewable energy — enough to power the city of San Francisco — more cheaply than coal-generated electricity. The company predicted that this can be accomplished in “years, not decades.” For some Wall Street analysts, the most relevant question is not whether Google can save the world, but whether the company’s idealism may ultimately distract it from its core businesses of organizing the world’s information and selling online ads. “My first reaction when I read about this was, ‘Is this a joke?’” said Jordan Rohan of RBC Capital Markets. “I’ve written off Google’s competition as a threat to Google’s long-term market share gains. But I haven’t written off Google’s own ability to stretch too far and try to do too much. Ultimately, that is the biggest risk in the Google story.” Robert Peck of Bear Stearns agreed that “the headlines were a little scary at first” and said investors were initially worried that this was another example of Google “trying to bite off more than they can chew.” But Google’s stock closed up more than 1 percent Tuesday in a higher market, Mr. Peck said, when investors ”realized this is more of a Google.org initiative and backed off.” Mr. Page, in an interview, said that failing to investigate new businesses could hurt Google more than any potential distraction. “If you look at companies that don’t do anything new,” he said, “they are guaranteed never to get bigger. They miss a lot of opportunities and they miss the next big things.” As part of the initiative, executives at Google.org said they are working with two companies that have “promising, scalable energy technologies.” One of these, eSolar, based in Pasadena, Calif., uses thousands of small mirrors to concentrate sunlight and generate steam that powers electric generators. The other, Makani Power of Alameda, Calif., is developing wind turbines that will run on powerful and generally more predictable winds at high altitudes. In a conference call Tuesday with reporters, Sergey Brin, Google’s other founder and president of technology, said the effort was motivated in part by the company’s frustrating search for clean, cheap energy alternatives. “It’s very hard to find options that aren’t coal-based or other dirty technologies,” he said. “We don’t feel good about being in that situation as a company. We feel hypocritical. We want to make investments happen so there will be alternatives for us to use down the road.” Both founders declined to specify what the company now spends on energy. Idealism is hardly new at Google. In their Letter From the Founders before the company’s 2004 initial public stock offering, Mr. Page and Mr. Brin wrote: “Our goal is to develop services that significantly improve the lives of as many people as possible. In pursuing this goal, we may do things that we believe have a positive impact on the world, even if the near-term financial returns are not obvious.” Mr. Rohan of RBC Capital Markets said that the returns were not obvious. “The only positive byproduct of this project that would be anything other than environmental,” he said, “is that it might make Google managers and executives even prouder of the fact that they work there, and it may help retain key employees who think their goal is to do good in the world. But I’m really stretching.” Google is only the latest Fortune 500 company to embrace green technologies. Also Tuesday, Hewlett-Packard said it would install a one-megawatt solar electric power system at its manufacturing plant in San Diego, and buy 80 gigawatt-hours of wind energy in Ireland next year. H.P. said that together, the agreements would save it around $800,000 in energy costs.

    Source: The New York Times
  2. panchoman

    panchoman Sold my stars!

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    good going google :toast: with google's cash , we can expect something good out of this, but now google has really expanded way out of its original niche, not that i mind. google FTW :rockout:
  3. HookeyStreet

    HookeyStreet Eat, sleep, game!

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    Google is taking one more step towards global domination mwhahahahahahahah :D
  4. Ravenas

    Ravenas

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    WTF GOOGLE.

    Next thing you know Google will be investigating how to create tropical islands.
  5. panchoman

    panchoman Sold my stars!

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    but we already know how to create tropical islands...
  6. FatForester New Member

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    I think it's funny how things like this are viewed as "controlling climate change". Seriously, if the Earth's climate is going to change, there's not a damned thing we can do to stop it! I'm all for helping the environment, but when people think they're doing it because they're going to "fight global warming", that's just dumb.

    Anyway, GO GOOGLE! It's really funny how far technology has gone and that we're still dependent on coal and oil. Hopefully they can turn that around.. it'll be really interesting to see what they come up with, especially considering their near-unlimited resources.
  7. Ketxxx

    Ketxxx Heedless Psychic

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    Go google gadget arm go!
  8. panchoman

    panchoman Sold my stars!

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    china can and does control the weather...
  9. Ravenas

    Ravenas

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    :confused:

    I hope your not serious.
  10. panchoman

    panchoman Sold my stars!

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    well you just create an artifical island, give it artificial landscapes, import some tropical trees and animals, let them breed, you've got a tropical island, its not that terribly hard, teenisland is based on a similiar concept
  11. Ravenas

    Ravenas

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    Lol, have fun creating a land mass in the middle of the ocean!
  12. panchoman

    panchoman Sold my stars!

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  13. ktr

    ktr

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    Turd powered cars ftw!
  14. PVTCaboose1337

    PVTCaboose1337 Graphical Hacker

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    Google = Umbrella Corp

    I am correct and you know it!
  15. panchoman

    panchoman Sold my stars!

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    i wouldn't mind google being a big part of our lives, cause google is good about it, all of their products are completely kick ass
  16. Ravenas

    Ravenas

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    If google were part of our lives, we would be advertisement drones.
  17. F-22 New Member

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    Nuclear power is the answer to all of our problems. It has zero emmissions, and could be used to convert sea water into hydrogen for our cars - which would also have zero emmissions.

    The same people that are fighting coal fired power plants are the same people who fought against nuclear power 30 years ago - resulting in mass coal fired plants. Solar and Wind are not a reliable or viable answers to replacing coal plants.

    Let's consider what would happen if we replace all coal plants with wind energy.... there'd be less wind, and that would cause climate change....... go figure.
  18. Polaris573

    Polaris573 Senior Moderator

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    That would take an inconceivable amount of windmills to have anything other than a localized effect.
  19. panchoman

    panchoman Sold my stars!

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    oh right, and then when something goes wrong, we can cover everything within a 25 mile radius with nuclear radiation, sounds great!
  20. Polaris573

    Polaris573 Senior Moderator

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    That is an ill-informed, outdated way of thinking about nuclear power. Several advanced reactor designs, such as pebble bed reactors, offer vastly improved safety over traditional reactors currently operating in the United States. The main drawback to nuclear power is not safety, but the deadly waste it produces. No one has yet to come up with a viable way to deal with nuclear waste.
  21. Ravenas

    Ravenas

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    The chances of that happening now are so small, trust me, I hear about it constantly my mom is a nuclear engineer.
  22. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    Launch nuclear waste into space... :eek:
    Crunching for Team TPU
  23. AphexDreamer

    AphexDreamer

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    Yeah guys, let not forget Chernobyl. Despite the idiotic causes that lead to the mass deadly effect for most countrys around that area, if Nuclear Power can be controlled, sustained and stableized then it would serve as a viable source of energy, ignoring the fact(as someone else stated eariler) that nuclear waste is extremly harmful and will remain on this earth for decades and decades to come with no way (as of today) to properly dispose of it.

    I personaly would lean more toward useing Solar Power or some other sort of self gernerating electrical circuit that can produce zero resistance useing superconductivity.

    Imagine having a generator roating at the will of a motor, which is inturn being powered by the very own generator it is roating. Having such a setup as this one would mean a self sustaining power sourse. However their is a major flaw with such a setup as this one, all electrical current produces heat and with that heat power is lost, so in order for such a power source to be fesable, man kind would first have to find a way to reach absoult zero out of a laboratory and in some sort of "power plant".

    Hopefully google will discover some new source of renewable energy that will shock the world. Also, I think I read someones post saying that having to many windmills would lead to less less wind:twitch:, you have got to be joking and to someone else who said that "their isn't a damn thing we can do about the climate changing", I have to strongly disagree with that comment, for many oveous reasons.
  24. F-22 New Member

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    Yea, but you'd need an inconceivable amount of wind towers to replace ALL coal fired energy.

    That's exactly their argument... like what happened in russia like 20 years ago. You know, 80% of France is nuclear powered - and they're a left-wing socialist state.

    What are you libs more afraid of - A possible, yet not probable meltdown, or the global catastrophe crisis infernal ball of hellfire death that is man-made global warming?

    Bombs.

    Dude... you remind me of my lib-aunt who told me that cars should have a windmill on top of them to collect energy and help power the car........
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2007
  25. Ravenas

    Ravenas

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    Wow.

    You wouldn't be using all windmills because you would also have a mixture of solar/nuclear/hydroelectric/waste energy, also the new Hydrogen fuel cells.

    That incident happened in Russia because there were practically no safety standards in Russia.

    Bombs aren't the solution, we need to find an actual use for nuclear waste besides killing people.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2007

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