(NaturalNews) Google Inc. has announced plans to invest millions of dollars in order to move into the renewable energy business. "If we achieve these goals, we are going to be in the [electricity] business in a very big way," said Google co-founder Larry Page. "We should be able to make a lot of money from this."
Google's move from Internet services into electricity generation was motivated by a desire to reduce the ecological footprint of the company's massive power needs. While Google's exact power consumption is a trade secret, the company acknowledges that one of its biggest worries is being able to meet its continually expanding electricity demands.
The company already has a history of investing in renewable energy, with its Mountain View, Calif. headquarters already being powered, in part, by one of the largest solar electric installations in the United States.
As part of the move into renewable energy, Google's philanthropic arm, Google.org, plans to invest $20 million in the next year alone toward renewable energy research. This will include the cost of hiring between 20 and 30 new employees, including renewable energy experts. Google aims to find a way to significantly reduce the cost of renewable energy generation to bring it more on par with the cost of coal.
According to Page, Google aims to significantly reduce the cost of generating renewable energy. It plans, for example, to bring the cost of solar power down by 25 to 50 percent. The company's wider goal is to produce one gigawatt of renewable electric power at a per watt rate lower than that of coal within "years, not decades." This would be enough electricity to power a city the size of San Francisco.
In addition to financing research directly, Google.org plans to invest "hundreds of millions" of dollars in companies that specialize in renewable power, Page said.