Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Google and GE—strange but potentially powerful energy bedfellows

by Larry Geller

It seems Google can and will do almost anything. Did you hear that Google is supposed to announce an iPhone competitor on Tuesday, the first phone that will use Google's own open-source operating system.

That’s not what I’m writing about, but it illustrates that Google seems to be able to do whatever it wants to do, and it wants to do practically everything.

Ok, now that I’ve chased you away from this article, what I really want to let you know is that Google and General Electric are getting together on an electric power grid and clean energy to put on it.

Here in Hawaii, our grid is operated by the power companies, and that’s an obstacle to energy independence. At least, if you believe as I do, that there won’t be much progress until we find a way to remove the current utilities from the process of cutover to alternative sources.

So this is interesting news.

The companies said they will work together on green energy technologies and lobby US political leaders to support "visionary policies" on renewable energy.

Yes! So there may be hope.

The benefits of renewable electricity can't fully be realized without updating US power transmission lines into a "smart grid" that lets people track and control what types of power they use and when, according to Google.
. . .
Smart power grids would allow people to conduct tasks such as recharging electric cars at times of day when demand is not high, and enable them to sell solar or other renewable energy back to utility companies.

Yes. They took the words right out of my mouth. Well, I wish I had said exactly that.

During the past two years, Google has launched a series of clean energy initiatives that include investing in geothermal, solar and wind-generated electricity.

Hey, let’s get them here as fast as possible. We have a problem, maybe they have a solution.

In fact, they walk their talk:

Major automobile makers have announced they will market plug-in electric cars in the United States no later than 2010.

Google has a fleet of plug-in vehicles it has been testing and invests in the technology.

Check out this article, and yes, you can Google for more information.


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