Google unveils clean energy plan

‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice lattes, Sarah Palin jokes, and…clean energy plans? Lately, it seems like everyone and their Mom has been outlining plans for America’s energy future. Al Gore recently said that Americans need to be totally carbon-free by 2018, while oil tycoon-cum-clean energy supporter T. Boone Pickens launched a campaign to make America energy independent by using wind power and natural gas.

Now, Google becomes the latest entity to join the energy-plan fray. Yesterday, the search engine announced it would pour $4.4 trillion into its Clean Energy 2030 plan, a proposal to greatly reduce America’s reliance on fossil fuels over the next 22 years.


The company basically outlines a three-pronged approach to achieving this energy independence: First, adopt technologies, buildings, and gadgets that are more energy efficient. Second, create energy that is cheaper than coal by investing massive amounts of private and government money to wind, solar thermal, and geothermal technologies, while also putting a price on carbon through taxes or cap-and-trade programs. And third, implement more electric transportation (like plug-in cars), while also creating what the company dubs a “smart grid,” allowing people to charge cars when electricity is cheapest and also be able to sell unused power back to the grid.

While the plan seems pricey—not to mention, incredibly difficult—the company asserts that savings would far exceed the cost ($5.4 trillion in savings for a plan that would cost $4.4 trillion).

And while it’s relatively unheard of for a company to be outlining a plan for America’s energy future, if any business could pull off such a feat, it would certainly be Google—the multi-gazillion dollar company started as two 20-somethings in a garage, and in 10 years has grown to a company with more than 10,000 employees worldwide.

It’s clear that America’s future plans need to embrace renewables on a wide scale in order to gain energy independence and curb carbon emissions. But for now, the country’s energy future remains just plans—we’ll be keeping an eye out for how energy issues play out during and after this election.


TrackBack URL for this entry:


“Google II:”

When, not if, Barack Obama is elected President of the United States, this "hokey" proposition, coupled with energy conservation and increased energy efficiency, will be driving the American economy and capital markets to new prosperity from Inauguration Day throughout the decade or two to come.

Mark this date and these words.


October 3, 2008

Post a comment

Issue 25

Sign up for Plenty's Weekly Newsletter