Monday, December 03, 2007

Google and Renewable Energy

Earlier this year Google, with the help of EI Solutions, installed solar panels that cover the rooftops of eight buildings and two carports at their Mountain View campus. The panels are capable of producing 1.6 megawatts of electricity.

The project is described in the Official Google Blog -

"This project will be the largest solar installation on any corporate campus in the U.S., and we think it's one of the largest on any corporate site in the world. The panels will cover the roofs of the four main buildings of the Googleplex, and also those of two additional buildings across the street. There will also be a portion of this installation on new solar panel support structures in a few parking lots. The amount of electricity that will be generated is equivalent to powering about 1,000 average California homes. We’ll use that electricity to power several of our Mountain View office facilities, offsetting approximately 30% of our peak electricity consumption at those buildings."

Last week Google announced their Renewable Energy Initiative.

The press release says Google.org will be,

"hiring engineers and energy experts to lead its research and development work, which will begin with a significant effort on solar thermal technology, and will also investigate enhanced geothermal systems and other areas. In 2008, Google expects to spend tens of millions on research and development and related investments in renewable energy. As part of its capital planning process, the company also anticipates investing hundreds of millions of dollars in breakthrough renewable energy projects which generate positive returns."
I find this all very positive as opposed to the nightmarish scenario described in Peak Oil: Life After the Oil Crash, which is interesting to read, very one-sided, and extremely depressing. The "solution" offered by the author is to buy a good sleeping bag and get in shape so you can survive in a "Mad Max" sort of world he envisions for the future.

Go Google!

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