Google Looks To Green Energy Sources

    November 12, 2007

Google is exploring the use of a variety of forms of renewable energy in an effort to reach its goal of creating 50 megawatts of renewable generating capacity for its operations by 2012.

Robyn Beavers

The forms of renewable energy that Google is considering include, solar, wind, geothermal and fuel cells, according to Robyn Beavers, director of green business and operations strategy at Google.

"We’ll make sure we evaluate them all thoroughly and make the right choices that work for Google," Beavers said who was at the Conference on Clean Energy in Boston this month to speak about Google’s plans to become more energy efficient.

"This past May we switched on our system, which is 1.6 megawatts of solar panels in our Mountain View headquarters campus," she said. "And we’ve also built two carport structures — shade structures over outdoor parking lots — and mounted solar panels over the tops of those. You can park underneath the solar panels and charge your hybrid vehicle from the sun."

Google Looks To Green Energy Sources

Beavers pointed out that Google installed solar hot water modules in its new office in Hyderabad, India. The solar modules will provide all the hot water usage for the whole building. Google has also arranged discounts with residential solar panel installers in California so employees who want to use solar panels on their homes can receive a discount.

"We try to encourage our employees to become more environmentally friendly in their own lives," Beavers said. "So we also offer employees a fuel-efficient vehicle incentive. If an employee buys an eco-friendly vehicle, we give them a rebate; the less gas an employee’s vehicle uses, the more money they get, starting at $1,000 for a typical hybrid."

Other steps Google is taking to become more energy efficient include replacing old fluorescent bulbs with more energy-efficient ones. "We’ll change all of our lighting and use fewer bulbs, which will save money in electricity and help pay for the overall project," she said according to Computerworld.