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Google CEO Proposes 22-Year Plan On U.S. Energy Problem

     
2:45 pm on Oct 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Google CEO Proposes 22-Year Plan On U.S. [news.cnet.com]Energy Problem
The United States government has been unable to fix the country's energy problems, Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said, but the Internet giant on Wednesday proposed its own 22-year solution.

"We have seen a total and complete failure of leadership in the political parties of the United States," Schmidt said in a speech at the Commonwealth Club here. "We've been working on a plan to help solve this problem."
Earlier in the day, Google unveiled that plan, which doesn't lack for chutzpah: Clean Energy 2030 aims to wean the United States from its dependence on fossil fuels within 22 years.

Schmidt said the plan requires $4.5 trillion in spending to pull it off, but it'll pay for itself with $5.5 trillion in savings. "With this plan, it's cheaper to fix global warming than it is to ignore it," Schmidt said.

Clean Energy 2030 - [knol.google.com]Google's Proposal for reducing U.S. dependence on fossil fuels
Commitment to Sustainable Computing [google.com]
Saving electricity one data center at a time [googleblog.blogspot.com]

3:04 pm on Oct 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Oh great, Barbara Streisand fever hits hitech. Now Google employees' political views are news. Why don't they just stick to selling advertising?
3:17 pm on Oct 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I thought we were not supposed to talk about politics on here.
4:05 pm on Oct 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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So, Google actually DOES think it's the government. Who knew? ;-)
4:17 pm on Oct 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I've always felt private industry could probably run government better than government could. Why not give it a shot?
4:19 pm on Oct 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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It is the responsability of a company like Google to participate in a debate that involves the future of our country. The only issue is that we now clearly know where they stand on politcal issues and that could hurt their business.
4:29 pm on Oct 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Google gave Al Gore hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stock for "consulting services" before they went public. It's no secret that Google has always been on the liberal-socialist side of the spectrum.
4:42 pm on Oct 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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After last night's constitution flushing, I'm willing to give anyone a chance at government work.
4:59 pm on Oct 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The Googlers are going to solve the energy crisis. Iím all for anyone taking a shot at it, and canít wait to see Eric Schmidt, in a calm and patient manner, working all of this out with congress.
5:39 pm on Oct 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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canít wait to see Eric Schmidt, in a calm and patient manner, working all of this out with congress.

I'd like to see Eric Schmidt, in a calm and patient manner, FIRING everyone in Congress. ;)
6:23 pm on Oct 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Maybe someone should propose a Google For Government
6:31 pm on Oct 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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All politics aside though, one thing going for Obama is his support of us computer geeks.
10:15 pm on Oct 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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FIRING everyone in Congress. ;)

We can put partisanship aside these days when it comes to Congress. Both Republicans and Democrats are absolutely worthless. They seem to think the idea behind getting elected is to simply gain power rather than to serve the people.

10:31 pm on Oct 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'd like to see Eric Schmidt, in a calm and patient manner, FIRING everyone in Congress. ;)

I think we can leave that to the public in about 35 days.

3:00 am on Oct 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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memo to Google: stay AWAY from politics!
Find a google.org CEO and let him speak, not the real Google CEO or founders.
3:21 am on Oct 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I would vote Google for US govt :-) Google is all about "git er done" LOL. They have more of a conscience than most politicians :-)
4:26 am on Oct 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'd say solar panel computers, although I don't know how much sun you guys get in America. EDF energy will be coming your way soon enough i'm sure..
4:50 am on Oct 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Its about time a bigger company steps up and understands the situation. You cant run 500 000 servers when there is an energy crisis, and this is the very obvious direction the world is headed. Since the US government has done next to nothing in terms of fixing this on a large scale level, is in bed with anything that smells of petroleum, it is a welcome idea.
7:06 am on Oct 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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i suppose there a couple of reasons for this : Al gore is on the board of directors , they are currenctly a one a half trick horse with only income coming from advertising , could diversify revenue and not be evil.
8:30 am on Oct 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'd say solar panel computers, although I don't know how much sun you guys get in America. EDF energy will be coming your way soon enough i'm sure..

These would only make good ornaments in Wales though - it always rains there.

8:59 am on Oct 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Hate the one liners... but can't help it: Energy Problems? Bite my frijoles! ....
10:31 am on Oct 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Pretty charts. I guess they're going to cover the Rocky mountains with panels...
3:00 pm on Oct 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I am amazed how some people react: just because a person says that the government has failed at something, then he is accused of demonstrating political views!

What? That person is just stating an opinion on the work of a government.

It is exactly because of this perverse attitude of attacking people's opinions that the US is in the state that is now: people refrain from criticizing an incompetent administration just so that they are not accused of being partisan.

The worst dictatorships have never achieved such high levels of auto-censorship. Scary stuff.

Go Eric, talk loud.

Anyways, this is a perfect business move for Google, they need to diversify their business, and they also rely on cheap resources (energy) in order to provide a free service that will incur a minimal operation cost.

[edited by: Hugene at 3:02 pm (utc) on Oct. 3, 2008]

3:05 pm on Oct 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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We have plenty of solar in AZ, NM, west TX and southern CA and the most available wind of any country.

Someone calculated that we'd need 600 giant solar towers to power the entire country at $800 million each. That's only $480 billion total for free, clean energy forever.

3:19 pm on Oct 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Someone calculated that we'd need 600 giant solar towers to power the entire country

I like the idea.

But it's also quite a liability if that is the only source of power. It sounds like very high profile (and not easily protected?) targets for terrorists (foreign and domestic).

I say diversify- build some of those, some more wind farms, add some new nuke plants, and push alternative fuel cars.

3:50 pm on Oct 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The problem with wind power and solar power is that you can only put those things in the middle of nowhere. Our country does not have the power lines to get it to cities. Also nobody wants to have a power plant of any kind anywhere near their homes. The cost to build those power lines is a lot. Also nobody wants those power lines going by their house.
4:30 pm on Oct 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Lots of new technology out there emerging including solar panels that are 2-3 times cheaper than conventional panels, product 2 times the power, and are much more efficient. The only reason why this isn't feasible today and is stalling is higher power politics, which is part of what I think the CEO is getting at. When the people 'wake up' and make this issue one of the forefront issues, they will understand that it will exactly completely dissolve the US reliance on foreign power.
6:29 pm on Oct 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If only the tritium fusion performed by Dr. Octavius had been stable, we would have had unlimited energy forever.
6:32 pm on Oct 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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LOL
7:00 pm on Oct 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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It sounds like very high profile (and not easily protected?)

If you see a plane flying towards one of them in the middle of nowhere it's a pretty safe bet to shoot it down. Cars would have a lot of trouble getting near them as well. A few ICBMs could take them out but if that happened we'd probably have a few going back the other way and being without power would be the least of our troubles. I do agree that wind, solar and nuclear is the way to go however. It's best to be diversified as sunlight is not constant and is unpredictable. Still $480 billion spread of out over 5 years is only about $95 billion per year. Our government produced $3.5 trillion in taxes in 2007. When you factor in the effect being energy independent would have on the dollar it would be more than free in the long-run, we'd make a huge profit. We'd also be able to spend far less on our $640 billion per year military as we could leave the Middle East alone. Also, if we did that there'd be a lot less people in the world with the desire to knock the towers down.

One more thing, these are not solar panels, they are giant greenhouses that trap heat from the desert air and funnel it up through a huge skyscraper-like tower. On the way up the air causes turbines to spin thereby producing electricity.

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