It was just a few years back that investing in solar technology or sustainable energy was considered risky and even odd. These days oil prices are reaching high levels due to global conflicts. The un-environmentally friendly nature of fossil fuels as well as the carbon emissions they produce means this may not be a clean and sustainable source of energy.
Nuclear energy continues to be viewed as an alternative choice to fossil fuels but the recent tragedy in Japan causing a melt down at the nuclear plant has put questions over the safety of this. Nuclear energy has a legacy of needing to handle the nuclear waste that frequently has to be buried for years and years, so has its own issues as a source of energy.
The search engine, Google, continues to increase its purchase of companies outside of its core brand by, investing in solar energy. The company’s co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page (together with brother Carl Page) have invested in an organization called Nanosolar, which focuses primarily on thin-film solar cells. This innovative solar product might be a reason behind an investment due to the future potential.
The thin-film solar cells could be less capable in harvesting the sun’s energy than traditional solar cells. There’s a much greater possibility for this type of solar panel because these solar cells can be printed up on an array of different materials from sheets of plastic, that may then be transparently integrated into roofs, walls and other surfaces. Thus, more surface may be covered. Traditional solar cells are as decorative as a satellite dish.
Google have made an initial investment close to $5 million in the German solar power park. This is to develop a whole new solar facility in close proximity to Berlin, Germany. The solar energy park is around 116 acres in dimensions and will become among the largest in Germany generating around 16.65 mega watts of energy, enough to power around 5000 homes.
Google is to invest almost $170 million in a large new solar energy plant within the Mojave Desert. The type of solar planet is innovative and called BrightSource Energy. Its Ivanpah solar electric generating system uses a number of mirrors to mirror the sun’s energy towards a solar tower. The electricity generated by all three plants is enough to serve greater than 140,000 homes in California through the peak hours of the day.
Committing to solar panel technology is a step out of the norm for Google. Its more major acquisitions prior to now tend to fit more with the online markets it are operating in and may include much talked about sites for example YouTube,com. Could this be among the first indications of Google flexing its corporate muscle and investing for ethical reasons or building a business empire less reliant on online technologies and advertising?