Google to research alternate energy

Google announces project to develop 'cheaper than coal' renewable energy sources

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By  Mark Sutton Published  November 28, 2007

Search giant Google has announced that it plans to invest "tens of millions" on research into renewable energy sources.

In a statement released yesterday, the company announced the launch of RE<C, an initiative that will look at developing technologies to generate electricity more cheaply than coal.

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

"With talented technologists, great partners and significant investments, we hope to rapidly push forward. Our goal is to produce one gigawatt of renewable energy capacity that is cheaper than coal. We are optimistic this can be done in years, not decades," he added.

RE<C will initially research advanced solar thermal power, wind power technologies, enhanced geothermal systems and other potential breakthrough technologies.

Google's philanthropic arm, google.org will finance some of the initiatives.

The company has already made several commitments to ecological programs. Google is a member of the Climate Saving Computers Initiative, alongside HP, IBM, Lenovo, Dell and Microsoft, and Google says it will be ‘carbon neutral' by 2008.

The company's California headquarters also has its own solar power installation, which the company claims generate one-third of its energy demand.

Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have come in from criticism from green campaigners however, over their ownership of a fleet of private jets, including a wide bodied Boeing 767-200 jumbo jet , fitted out for their own personal use.

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