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Google searches for alternatives to coal

28 ноября 2007

Google committed hundreds of millions of dollars to renewable energy projects on Tuesday.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google co-founders, announced its initiative to produce electricity from renewable energy sources rather than coal.

Mr Page said: "Our goal is to produce one gigawatt of renewable energy capacity [enough to power San Francisco] that is cheaper than coal. We are optimistic this can be done in years, not decades."

If Google achieved this, he said, the world would have the option of significantly reducing the greenhouse gases created by burning coal, a fuel used for 40 per cent of electricity supply at present.

The internet company said it expected to spend tens of millions of dollars in 2008 on research and development and related investments. It also anticipated investing hundreds of millions of dollars in breakthrough renewable energy projects that generate positive returns.Google searches for alternatives to coal

The Google founders were asked, during a conference call with reporters, if they were straying from their core mission.

Mr Brin said energy was already critical to Google's operations, referring to the energy-hungry data centres built by the company.

Google said it expected a pay-off of hundred of millions of dollars in the near-term.

This could be realised in energy savings and licensing of the technology that is developed. Google's move reflects growing interest in renewables in Silicon Valley. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, one of the venture capital companies behind the dotcom boom, formed a partnership with Al Gore's fund management business this month to target low-carbon energy.

More than $4bn (£1.9bn, €2.7bn) of venture capital was invested last year in environmental technologies such as renewable energy, water technologies and carbon reduction technologies.

The sector is now the biggest recipient of venture capital funds in the US.

Источник: Financial Times

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