Google's Search for Clean Energy
- Friday, April 6, 2012
- By Jessica Leber
The Internet giant thought it could help invent cheap renewable power. That wasn’t so easy.
Googleplex: Google’s headquarters is covered with solar panels, part of the company’s investment in renewable power.
Google once brashly believed that its engineers could invent a solution to the world’s energy problems. These days, the company has a new strategy: finance less risky clean-energy projects where it can actually make an impact.
Last year, Google invested more than ever in renewable power, spending $880 million to underwrite conventional clean-energy projects such as solar panels on California rooftops. But that isn’t the role the company envisioned for itself in 2007, when cofounder and current CEO Larry Page declared that it would get into energy research directly, intending to “rapidly” invent cheap ways to generate “renewable electricity at globally significant scale.”
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