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Old 11-27-2007, 05:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Google's Search for Sustainability

http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/20...n-electricity/

Quote:
A heap of climate and energy experts have been aching for government and/or the private sector to step forward in a big way to take on the challenge of diverting the world from its expanding appetite for fossil fuels.

Google has now announced what looks like just the kind of effort they’ve all been talking about. The initiative is called Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal (RE<C ). Company officials said they planned to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in projects that aim to make nonpolluting technologies for generating electricity competitive with what has been the norm for the last 100 years — burning black rocks.

An initial focus will be solar thermal technology, in which arrays of mirrors heat a substance to drive a generator, something that Matthew L. Wald of The Times has written about in the continuing Energy Challenge series.

According to Google’s news release, the company “is hiring engineers and energy experts to lead its research and development work, which will begin with a significant effort on solar thermal technology, and will also investigate enhanced geothermal systems and other areas. In 2008, Google expects to spend tens of millions on research and development and related investments in renewable energy. As part of its capital planning process, the company also anticipates investing hundreds of millions of dollars in breakthrough renewable energy projects which generate positive returns.”

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