Why Google is spending billions on renewable energy

Google has already invested around $1 billion in alternative power projects with a combined capacity of more than two gigawatts. These investments have not been just for the benefit of the environment, or to increase Google's sense of wellbeing, Peixe writes, they are investments made with a goal to making a profit in the future.

Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters/File
People walk past a logo next to the main entrance of the Google building in Zurich, Switzerland. Google hope that investments made now will put them in a strong position in the future when renewable energy becomes much cheaper than fossil fuels, Peixe writes.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has spent billions over the past few years investing in renewable energy projects and trying in general to cut its impact on the environment. Google is a successful business, and these investments have not been just for the benefit of the environment, or to increase their sense of wellbeing; they are investments made with a goal to making a profit in the future.

Rick Needham, the director of energy and sustainability at Google recently gave a presentation at the Cleantech Forum in San Francisco, in which he explained that, “while fossil-based prices are on a cost curve that goes up, renewable prices are on this march downward.”

Google hope that investments made now will put them in a strong position in the future when renewable energy becomes much cheaper than fossil fuels. (Related article: Clarifying the Clean Energy Innovation v Deployment Debate)

One reason for the opposing trends that renewable energy and fossil fuels are experiencing can be found within the basic fundamentals of the energy sources: 
•    The renewable energy industry relies on mass manufacturing and ever more efficient technologies to harvest energy from limitless natural resources; this leads to constantly cheaper prices of electricity.
•    The fossil fuel industry on the other hand relies on increasingly more complex and expensive technologies to extract dwindling reserves from ever more challenging locations. As time goes on the cost of producing the electricity just continues to increase; even anomalies such as the US shale boom which sent gas prices to record lows, are not enough to reverse the overall long term trend.

Google has already invested around $1 billion in alternative power projects with a combined capacity of more than 2GW, and has also supported studies into energy efficiency, which enables their data centres to run on half the power of conventional ones, saving over $1 billion in energy costs.
Original source: http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Why-Renewable-Energy-is-so-Attractive-to-Google.html

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.