Google shut down its clean energy program
Google is pulling the plug on its renewable energy program. Does it matter?
Google Inc. said last week it will abandon its Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal initiative — which Google displayed as RE < C — that aimed to reduce the cost of renewable energy and focused on solar.
Google made the announcement via a blog post credited to Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President, Operations & Google Fellow. The post is the third in a series that detail products Google is kissing goodbye because they "haven’t had the impact we’d hoped for," were being integrated into other products or just plain didn't work.
Google said its "off-season spring cleaning" effort aimed to produce "a simpler, more intuitive, truly beautiful Google user experience."
Google's renewable energy initiative was the basis for Google.org funding some Bay Area companies including Redwood City-based Potter Drilling, and Sausalito-based AltaRock, both of which are developing innovative enhanced geothermal drilling technologies.
"This initiative was developed as an effort to drive down the cost of renewable energy, with an RE<:C engineering team focused on researching improvements to solar power technology said Hölzle, via the blog post. "At this point, other institutions are better positioned than Google to take this research to the next level."
Katie Fahrenbacher of GigaOm's Earth2Tech says Google's snuffing of RE<C isn't a big deal in the scheme of the renewable energy world, mostly because Google will still be opening its checkbook for clean power projects. To date the search giant has invested some $850 million in renewable energy projects, including Oregon's Shepherds Flat Wind Farm.
Read more in the San Francisco Business Times.
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