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Google, And Others, Invests $130Million In ESolar

 6:07 pm on Apr 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Solar thermal company eSolar said on Monday it closed $130 million in funding from Google Inc's philanthropy arm and other investors.

The funds will be used to build and deploy solar thermal power plants to supply utilities with clean, renewable power, the company said in a statement. It plans to have a fully operational plant in Southern California later this year.

Google, And Others, Invests $130Million In ESolar [reuters.com]



 7:32 pm on Apr 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Way to go Google! Now if they could just get those SERPs looking good again....


 4:19 am on Apr 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

Interesting that Google calls their funding "philanthropy" .. wonder if it was given or invested?


 7:09 am on Apr 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

expat, I think they invest and give what the earn. It's a different charity, more like a venture capital one, but what they gain stays for charity.


 9:40 am on Apr 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

"philanthropy"? gimme a break! solar companies earn big $$$.


 11:18 am on Apr 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

Pocket money anyway. Well, to Google. Now how can I get that brand new solar panel on my roof paid? Not from my Adsense earnings, that much is clear. *sigh*


 1:54 pm on Apr 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just wish all these solar investments actually lowered costs. It just seems prices keep going UP UP UP for panels. Glad to see google doing its green thing but somehow i don't see this investment impacting my probability of going solar anytime soon.


 5:42 pm on Apr 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

It just seems prices keep going UP UP UP for panels.

You refer to the photovoltaic array technology which IMO is still too inefficient for large scale prime time deployment and that's why the cost is so high because it's still "boutique" technology not embraced by the masses. If you see panels on every rooftop, prices would go down as mass production creates economy of scale, just like it did for computers.

What eSolar does is heliostat technology which is solar thermal technology, totally different beast and least likely to become outmoded.

Besides, it makes sense for Google to invest in alternative power sources because Google doesn't exist if the power grid runs out of fuel.

No electricity, no internet, no Google.

How's that for self-serving philanthropy? ;)


 6:34 pm on Apr 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

G has also invested Nanosolar -- Cheapest Solar Panel [metaefficient.com]:

Basically, Nanosolar is able to print solar panels on machines that resemble printing presses. The company, whose backers include Google’s co-founders, say it is producing the world’s lowest-cost solar panel, costing as little as 99 cents per watt.


 7:03 pm on Apr 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yeah, and maybe someday we will actually see one of the Nanosolar panels produced, and I can pretty much bet it will be a lot more than $1 per watt.

[edited by: Wlauzon at 7:07 pm (utc) on April 22, 2008]


 7:44 pm on Apr 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

Even then, the Nanosolar panels will probably produce even better in combination with heliostat technology. Some people have already been experimenting with cheap mylar (~$1/ft.) to make low cost solar collectors that focus all their energy in a single solar panel and it performed like 5-10 solar panels with that extra boost of solar energy.

I'm thinking it'll be a combo of the 2 technologies that makes it expensive, affordable, and boosts the performance.


 11:44 pm on Apr 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

eSolar says at [esolar.com...]

Covering 1% of the Sahara Desert with eSolar power plants would provide enough electricity to power the entire world.

That's quite the statement.


 4:34 pm on Apr 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

The world really needs high production of solar panels. Why do these things cost so much? That new thin stuff would be nice to cover the roof with.

Anyone got any of this on the cheap?

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