Google's search for smart power  

Posted by Big Gav in

The Business Spectator has a look at some of Google's initiatives to transform the way we produce energy - Google's search for smart power.

Most people expect there to be a transformation of the energy industry, but what if it turns out to be a total revolution?

Most talk focuses on a possible move to distributed rather than centralised power supplies, the introduction of smart grids and the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy supplies such as wind, solar, marine and geothermal.

In other words, the structure of the industry pretty much remains the same, except for a few whiz-bang technologies that make it greener, more efficient and more available.

But what if it went further than that, and the whole industry was turned upside down? Two developments in the past few days in the US give a hint of what is being envisaged and what might be possible – the entry of Google into the energy utility business and the much-hyped release of the stand-alone fuel cell, the Bloom Box

TreeHugger also has a post on Google's interest in the energy market - Government Clears the Way for Google to Play in Energy Markets.
Google is now officially in the energy business after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday cleared the way by granted a subsidiary of the search giant the authority to sell electricity on wholesale markets. The move paves the way for Google to operate as a sort of energy broker--buying power from providers and the selling it just like utilities do. Many are left to wonder now just how serious Google is about getting deep into the energy business. ...

FERC's order grants Google Energy the rights "for the sale of energy, capacity, and ancillary services at market-based rates" but it also says that it cannot "own or control any generation or transmission" facilities.

Google is not alone as a non-utility or power producing company that deals in energy. Safeway and the pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. Inc. also do, but they don't use the massive amount of power that Google does nor do they market energy solutions like Smart meters as Google does.

Google appears to be serious about both cleaning up its own footprint and helping the nation clean up its massive pollution problem. In 2007, Google introduced its own plan to fight climate change and convert the nation to renewable energy. it called for 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 and for half of vehicles to be plug in hybrids.

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