Google, Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG) has been one of the biggest corporate investors in clean energy. The internet-giant is a major energy user; so, reducing energy consumption is good for Google's profit margins, while eliminating its carbon footprint is great for its public image.
Google has supported and even proposed policy to reduce America's dependence on fossil fuels. Likewise, the company has investments in several renewable energy sectors. It's hope is to generate one gigawatt of electricity within a few years.
Here is a quick look at Google's clean tech investments:
- RE<C - Google has invested over US$45 million in its RE<C program to make renewable energy cheaper than coal.
- Solar Thermal Power - Google has invested US$10 million in two solar thermal start-ups: eSolar and BrightSource.
- High Altitude Wind - Google has invested US$15 million in Makani Power's unique technology which captures high altitude winds.
- Enhanced Geothermal Systems - Google has invested US$10.25 million in Potter Drilling and AltaRock Energy.
- RechargeIT - Google has developed this project to reduce America's transportation sector's greenhouse gas emissions by implementing plug-in vehicles. RechargeIT launched the GFleet, a free car sharing program for Google employees. The cars include regular and plug-in hybrid Toyota Priuses.
- Plug-in Vehicles - Google has invested US$2.75 million in Aptera Motors and US$2.75 million in Acta Cell.
- Photovoltaic Solar Power - Google has constructed a 1.6-megawatt rooftop solar system at its headquarters.
- Google Ventures - Last year Google launched this US$100 million venture capital fund for innovative start-ups. Google Ventures is set to invest in all sectors of clean energy; the fund's first cleantech investment went to Silver Spring Networks for its smart grid technology.
- Google Energy, LLC - Recently, Google applied to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to have this corporation be allowed to buy and sell bulk electricity like a utility does. If approved, Google will have greater access to renewable energy and will be able to purchase electricity at wholesale prices.
Dallas Katchan, managing director of Cleantech Group, said, “Google is one of the few companies the world is paying attention to because it is looking to break the mold and dramatically challenge the status quo of renewable energy technologies. They're a company to watch in terms of where they're putting money to work in cleantech.”
Read the full story at Solve Climate: Where's Google Putting Its Money?
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