Google Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal initiative

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On November 27, 2007, computer search engine company Google announced a strategic initiative called RE<C ("Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal") to develop electricity from renewable energy sources that will be cheaper than electricity produced from coal. The newly created initiative, will focus initially on advanced solar thermal power, with secondary attention on wind power, enhanced geothermal systems, and other potential breakthrough technologies. Google said it planned to spend "tens of millions on research and development and related investments" in renewable energy during 2008.[1]

According to co-founder Larry Page, the project's goal is "to produce one gigawatt of renewable energy capacity that is cheaper than coal. We are optimistic this can be done in years, not decades."[2]

According to a company press release, will make strategic investments and grants to variety of organizations in the renewable energy field, including companies, R&D laboratories, and universities. The company reported that it was working with two companies:[3]

  • eSolar Inc., a Pasadena, CA-based company specializing in solar thermal power which replaces the fuel in a traditional power plant with heat produced from solar energy.
  • Makani Power Inc., an Alameda, CA-based company developing high-altitude wind energy extraction technologies aimed at harnessing the most powerful wind resources.



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