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Google Inc said on Tuesday the Web services and online advertising group plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in coming years to promote a new push to encourage cheap renewable electricity.
The project, known as Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal, is hiring engineers and targeted investment financing at advanced solar thermal power, wind power technologies, enhanced geothermal systems and other new technologies, Google said.
what's next: Bank, water desalination, manned flights to Mars...?
Note that the price indicated for coal is the cost of anthracite coal which is the type I deal in, this is used primarily for home heating because it's the cleanest burning i.e. nearly 100% carbon which provides a "smokelss" emission. If your neighbor was burning anthracite to heat their house you would never know it. It's also out of date and is roughly about $140-$150 per ton delivered in bulk locally.
The highest grades of Bituminous which is used in power plants is roughly trading at $55 per ton.
They have initiatives for clean coal power: [fossil.energy.gov...]
With such plants the pollution problem becomes a moot point. The trouble with any of the renewable energy resources is they are very expensive. Take for example geo-thermal heating. You can heat a house for less than even coal but the installation costs are astronomical.
To say that this will not take any exec time is a lie...and we all know it. Now "being green" is cool so they will enjoy this.
Tell me again why they should stay within the confines of the search market.
Google is a public company with tons of capital to burn on prospects and emerging markets. Silicon Valley is busting at the seams with companies who see the potential income of renewable "green" energy. It seems pretty logical that the largest fish in the Valley should give it a go as well.
Google uses their brains and money to enter new markets and make money, usually with outstanding results. Why would any investor be opposed to this?
Ok I stand corrected, coal is the cheapest proven technology. Those solar cells still have to stand the test of time. Will they be able to hold up for 25 years?
I'm assuming that is lifespan they expect based on the 25 year warranty, I'm also assuming that is what they are basing the cost factor on. Renewable energy will get its day, I foresee massive hydro/wind/solar plants in the worlds oceans. I just don't think it's here yet, any of these alternatives will require serious investment to make a difference. A lot more than what Google can provide and until you get many investors onboard these technologies will languish.
I'm thinking there's a connection somewhere between this and the plan to build a massive data center in the Council Bluffs, Iowa area...
Lots of cheap, open land; few neighbors to grouse about large solar or wind arrays, a community that might welcome new investment without zoning hassles, perhaps?
OK, don't flame, I know it could be a crazy thought.
Google has no idea what they are doing beside Search, Adwords and Adsense. The rest of this is just a way of saying "we're doing something..."
It reminds me the question: "How did dot-com bust started?"