Google Weighs Larger Energy Investments
Google is looking to put more focus on the energy industry in hopes of creating a business opportunity.
Engineers at Google are preparing to introduce tools that could help people make better choices about their energy use. The company’s philanthropic division, Google.org has invested in green energy start-ups that use kites to harness wind power and now Google is mulling large investments in projects that generate electricity from renewable sources.
"We want to make money, and we want to have an impact," Dan W. Reicher, director for climate change and energy initiatives at Google.org told the NYT.
Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive has joined Jeffrey Immelt, General Electric’s chief executive, to work on policies and technologies to improve the electricity grid.
Google has not outlined details on how far it plans to go with its energy efforts. "We have been debating, ‘What are the business opportunities for Google in this area,’ " Schmidt said recently. "And I think right now, we would answer the question that our primary mission is one of information."
Schmidt said Google plans to be active in "information businesses or communications businesses" related to energy.
"The issue globally, and particularly in the U.S., is that renewable energy is hard to come by and is expensive," said William E. Weihl, Google’s green energy director. "But as a competitive business, we can’t afford, anymore than anyone else, to say we are going to pay more."