“SAN FRANCISCO – Google Inc.
is expanding into alternative energy in its most ambitious effort yet
to ease the environmental strain caused by the company’s voracious
appetite for power to run its massive computing centers.
part of a project announced Tuesday, the Internet search leader and its
philanthropic arm will pour hundreds of millions of dollars into a
quest to lower the cost of producing electricity from renewable energy sources such as wind and the sun.
If Google realizes its goal, the cost of solar power should fall by 25 to 50 percent, co-founder Larry Page said in an interview.
The Mountain View-based
company initially hopes to harvest cleaner-burning electricity to meet
its own needs and sell power to other users or license the technology
that emerges from its initiative, dubbed “Renewable Energy Cheaper Than
. . .
“Google aims to produce one gigawatt of power from renewable energy at
prices below the rates of electricity generated at coal-burning plants.
One gigawatt power would be enough to supply the needs of a city the
size of San Francisco.”
Well, it sounds like Google is jumping on the renewable energy bandwagon, and I think it’s a good thing.
(This is my opinion on global warming, then I’ll get back to the article at hand : I’ve been reading a bit about global warming, and what its causes are – is it man-made, or is it just part of a natural cycle of the Earths temperatures? I’m not sure which one I believe. Either way, the important thing is that the Earth is getting warmer. It’s not important why. If its man-made, then we should be working to slow down what we’re doing. If it’s natural, the flooding and rising of the sea will still pose a problem for millions of people worldwide, so we might want to try and slow down the Earth’s warming anyways.)
So Google is working on ways to generate energy that are cheaper then coal, and can be sold at prices lower then the current market rate. Global Warming or not, if it’s cheaper, who ISN’T interested? Yes, coal has been a reliable power source for years and years. But what’s to say that we can’t use something better? Electricity can and will play a huge role in almost every aspect of our lives. We use it to power computers. I’m using my laptop and a desk lamp right now. I’ve been reading some cool things about electric cars, and car makers are beginning to roll out plug-in hybrids that get charged from the wall outlet in the garage overnight. True, these electric cars don’t have any emmisions, but there’s still a power plant somewhere burning something to get the electricity. What if that electricity could be generated with almost no emissions at all? Forget global warming, just think of the potential to improve air quality in and around major cities. What’s to say that these renewable ways of generating electricity can’t be applied to other areas, or even other countries, that don’t have large amounts of coal, or places that don’t warrant running power lines hundreds of miles, and can’t afford to build power plants? Is electricity the be-all and end-all of all our power needs? No. We need to make some other advances, like even more efficient electric motors, and better-still batteries, with longer life, and safer materials. Is Google doing its part to start the electric ball rolling : Yes.
One other thing I’m wondering is weather or not there’s any way to get power from the heat generated by all of Google’s computers and servers. I know that all that electricity and processing power generates vast amounts of heat, that must be dissipated, carried away, or cooled. Is there any way to take the heat generated from all these servers and use it for something productive? I know you can have sun-heated hot water. How about server-heated hot water? Is there any way to use this hot water to generate electricity? I know that it probably shouldn’t be hot enough to boil, but there’s gotta be SOMETHING you can use this extra heat for.
Read the full article on Google’s renewable power efforts here