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No Coal is Google's Goal

Google are planning to plough tens of millions of dollars into renewable energy and hope to produce enough electricity to power a city the size of San Francisco.

The world’s biggest search engine’s RE<C initiative (Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal) will be focussing its research and development programme predominately on solar thermal technology but will also be exploring wind power technologies, enhanced geothermal systems and other potential breakthrough technologies.

Larry Page, Google co-founder and President of Products, said, "We hope to rapidly push forward. Our goal is to produce one gigawatt of renewable energy capacity that is cheaper than coal. We are optimistic this can be done in years, not decades."

One gigawatt, according to the internet giant, is enough electricity to power San Francisco (although they neglect to say how long for) and, for our more technical readers, is just under the amount of juice required to make the DeLorean in ‘Back to the Future’ travel in time.

"Lots of groups are doing great work trying to produce inexpensive renewable energy,” added the excellently named Dr Larry Brilliant, Executive Director of Google. “We want to add something that moves these efforts toward even cheaper technologies a bit more quickly.

"Usual investment criteria may not deliver the super low-cost, clean, renewable energy soon enough to avoid the worst effects of climate change," added Dr Larry Brilliant.

Google have already installed the world’s biggest corporate solar farm at its Californian HQ and claims to be on track to make its business carbon neutral by the end of 2007.

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