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Google Could Sell Energy

Google May Become a Utility Company

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Remember when Google was just a search engine? We often still think about it that way, yet we are frequently reminded of the breadth of product offerings and ultimately the power the company possesses. Power, or energy rather, is actually something Google could end up selling in the future.

Google recently applied for approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the right to purchase and monetize energy, just like the utility companies you are already familiar with do. Google has said that its actions had more to do with the enormous amount of energy it consumes itself (consider all of the machinery and equipment it takes to keep a company like Google running at its current pace on a daily basis).

Questions have been raised however, about if Google could actually end up functioning as a utility. From the sounds of it, the company isn’t exactly ruling it out.

Bill WeihlJeffrey Marlow with the New York Times asked Google’s "Green Energy Czar" Bill Weihl if the company views its work on alternative energy as a money-making component. In his response, Weihl noted that some of Google’s initiatives come from Google.org (the company’s philanthropic arm), and said:

The reason Google.org is not just a foundation is that lots of people believe that if you want to have a big impact at scale on the world, then you need to go beyond what a 501(c)3 can do, which is to make charitable grants, so you need the ability to invest in companies, to do engineering projects, to do things that might at some point actually make money.

We’d be delighted if some of this stuff actually made money, obviously; it is not our goal to not make money. All else being equal, we’d like to make as much money as we can, but the principal goal is to have a big impact for good.

Google says its goal is to make renewable energy cheaper than coal. Coal is said to be the source of about half of the electricity consumed in the US. Google is looking at concentrated solar thermal, enhanced geothermal, and wind energies.

Related Articles:

> Google Gets Energetic Syndicate content

> How Much Energy is Consumed by a Google Search?

> Google Testing PowerMeter To Save Energy

Google Could Sell Energy
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  • http://www.seosean.com Affordable SEO Services

    Google is not going to be selling any energy. If anything they will simply develop a power plant to power their own facilities. They even said that in their statement. Which is really not that news worthy since many big corporations do that.

  • http://www.greencollareconomy.com Casey Verdant

    This is a really interesting move on Google’s part to power its own data centers and make a grab at one of the most profitable sectors of American industry. Let’s hope Google Energy is as green and creative as Google’s other subsidiaries.

    If you

  • http://www.merlinsltd.com Guest

    Google has said that its actions had more to do with the enormous amount of energy that it consumes itself

  • http://www.mykeblack.com Myke Black

    Google are not going to be selling energy- the cost of administrating and maintiaining vital supplies means that it will not be able to compete with the biggest companies, even if they are offering green energy, the price per Kwh will be too high.
    I think google are moving more towards self sufficiency because they know there is an energy crisis looming in the next 20 years. No one knows exactly how much coal and oil there is left in the world (each oil company keeps this a closely guarded secret so there are no international figures on it) but I predict that the cost of non-renewable energy is going to spiral as supplies become harder to source and extract. Since electricity is the lifeblood of google, any threat to supply will be a major concern to a company whose billion dollar value is mostly based on the value of it’s data on online services, and without constant electricity, that data is not available.

  • http://www.albuquerquewebmall.com Obdurate

    Google can’t “sell” energy unless it produces energy that can be sold. Any other activity is commodity “trading”.

    When you have a behemoth like Google trading in a commodity when it also has the capacity to affect the price of the commodity it’s trading, you have the potential for problems.

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