Google Joins Smart Meter Coalition  

Posted by Big Gav in , ,

A story I missed a week or two ago from Greentech Media, on Google joining a smart meters industry organisation - Google Joins Smart Meter Coalition.

The Demand Response and Advanced Metering Coalition (which likes to call itself DRAM) welcomed a famous new member today — Google — as part of its quest to promote technology that will let utilities curb power remotely.

The search giant spends a significant amount of time on energy matters. For one thing, it has become one of the largest individual consumers of electric power in the country. When plotting out new datacenters, Google examines the cost of power in the area as well as the potential availability of things like ambient air cooling which can cut down air conditioning and power consumption. Additionally, the company tends to be an early adopter of energy efficient components, such as efficient power supplies, because these parts can cut expenses.

Conceivably, smart metering could help Google cut down on the power going into lights, air conditioners and other appliances on its campus.

There is also a personal angle too. Founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page have both often talked openly about their own desires to see the world move away from coal and oil. Both have invested individually in companies like Nanosolar and Tesla Motors. (Brin also owns a bunch of electric cars, like the Tango featured in this here video.) Google.org, the company’s philanthropic arm, invests in clean startups. Meanwhile CEO Eric Schmidt goes around the country giving speeches about how the U.S. can wean itself from fossil fuels.

2 comments

Anonymous   says 1:54 PM

In the short term, smart metering helps coal. Currently electricity is cheapest at night when baseload coal is being produced. Moving more demand to the night-time makes coal more efficent and less expensive.

Well - its a pretty indirect benefit to coal - and coal always has an economic advantage over renewables, unless someone gets wind power or solar power costs down below coal costs.

We need a smart grid to shift to 100% clean energy, and we need carbon taxes (or at least cap and trade) to get rid of the coal industry.

There's no point worrying about short term effects too much.

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