Google announced last week that it has agreed to make its first clean energy project investment in Europe. The company will be injecting US$5 million into a solar photovoltaic plant in Germany.
Google does lots of cool stuff with new and emerging clean technologies. Apparently, it just comes natural.
In the past we’ve reported about Google’s investment in human-powered transportation and the newest toy on their HQ campus, a prototype wireless electric car charger. And although they like to play (more…)
The system is the first to offer consumers a simple way to charge their EVs with the ease of hands-free, automatic technology.
Google is famous for giving the digital generation what it wants, so it only makes sense that the search giant would branch out into other technologies it feels are worth of its attention. So it shouldn’t come (more…)
The name of the company is Transphorm, and since its inception in 2007 it has been busy transforming the very nature of energy.
Google has announced that it has signed an agreement to invest in the development of a backbone wind energy transmission project off the Mid-Atlantic coast.
Dubbed the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC), the project will utilize a 350-mile span of the U.S. Atlantic coastline to install wind turbines 10 to 15 miles offshore. With a (more…)
RIP, Energy Bill: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced he didn’t have the votes to pass a climate-change bill that puts a price on greenhouse gases. With that statement one of Obama’s major campaign promises crashed to earth, along with hopes for slowing global warming or using cleantech to jump-start the U.S. economy. In place of a real energy bill is an (more…)
Are Offshore Oil Rigs a Threatened Species? Is the Deepwater Horizon spill the beginning of the end for offshore oil drilling, or just another Exxon Valdez? Today, as BP attempted to place a 100-ton cap over the broken well gushing under the Gulf of Mexico, it was uncertain if they’d be able to stanch the spreading damage at sea or in Washington, D.C.
The spill has muddied the prospects for a climate bill as one of its pillars — a new round of offshore oil drilling — founders in unstable political soil, as Mackinnon Lawrence reports. Meanwhile, environmental groups are hustling to make the case, as in this Sierra Club video, that offshore oil is dirty and unsafe. Perhaps it’s not only brown pelicans and terns who will have trouble flying after all this is over, and the black tide might yet turn against its maker.
Efficiency Experts To America: Stop Dreamin’ and Pick Up Yer Caulkin’ Gun. At a symposium of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy — what, you missed it? — experts concluded that weatherstripping beats windfarms as the fastest way to save the US economy, and released some numbers to prove it. First, America is not as efficient as it thinks: the domestic economy is only 13 percent efficient, compared to 20 percent efficiency in Japan and some European countries. We were left pondering if it’s more efficient, percentage-wise, to order a veggie pizza from Papa John’s or gnaw on a frozen one from Trader Joe’s. (more…)
Google has invested $39 million in a 160-megawatt wind farm in North Dakota, marking the first time that the search engine giant has made a direct investment in a wind energy project.
Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, has previously invested in renewable energy startups, such as the solar thermal companies eSolar and Brightsource.
But the North Dakota wind power investment comes directly out of Google’s treasury and represents the company’s growing involvement in the renewable energy industry.
A Google spokesman said, “You can think of it as a way to diversify our cash holdings while investing in an area that we think is important to support.” (more…)
California’s high-tech giants have long used renewable energy to help power their Silicon Valley headquarters. Now, companies such as Google, Adobe Systems, and eBay are preparing for the next step — investing in off-site solar and wind installations and innovative technologies that will supply their offices and data centers with green electricity.
From the street, Adobe Systems’ San Jose headquarters looks like any other collection of skyscrapers that dot the downtown of the self-proclaimed capital of Silicon Valley.
But ascend to a skyway that connects two of the software company’s towers and you’ll find a wind farm. Twenty vertical turbines that resemble a modern art installation slowly rotate in the breeze that blows through a six-floor plaza. Down in the parking garage, a dozen electric car-charging stations have been set up. Adobe, which makes the ubiquitous Flash player software, will install 18 more chargers this year to accommodate workers expected to be first in line when the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt, and other battery-powered vehicles roll into Silicon Valley showrooms later this year. (more…)
After making his fortune with Idealab and a host of technology start-ups, Bill Gross has turned his attention to renewable energy. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Gross talks about the solar power plant technology his company eSolar is developing and about the future of solar.
Bill Gross is not your typical solar energy entrepreneur. In a business dominated by Silicon Valley technologists and veterans of the fossil fuel industry, Gross is a Southern Californian who made his name in software. His Idealab startup incubator led to the creation of companies such as eToys, CitySearch, and GoTo.com. The latter pioneered search advertising — think Google — and was acquired by Yahoo for $1.6 billion in 2003.
That payday has allowed Gross to pursue his green dreams. (As a teenager, he started a company to sell plans for a parabolic solar dish he had designed.) Over the past decade, Gross has launched a slew of green tech startups, including solar power plant builder eSolar, electric car company Aptera, and Energy Innovations, which is developing advanced photovoltaic technology. (more…)