Google is investing some of its money in green energy. Robyn Beavers, Google's director of environmental programs, says the firm intends to generate 50MW of electricity from renewable sources by 2012. Beavers claims Google's investment in solar electricity will pay for itself in seven and a half years. He also stated that it cuts the firm's electricity bill by more than 30%.
Beavers spoke at the Conference on Clean Energy here on Monday where she outlined a number of initiatives that Google participates in aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Those include the 1.6 megawatt solar installation at its corporate headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. In addition to panels on building roofs, Google has constructed a car port with solar panels as a roof, under which people can charge up plug-in hybrids.
Asked whether Google was considering wind power, Beavers said she couldn't say. But she didn't leave much doubt that all forms of renewable energy are actively under consideration.
"Wind, solar, geothermal, fuel cells--you name it, we're looking into it," she said.
Corporate buyers are prized customers for the thousands of clean-tech start-ups that have cropped up over the past few years. Wal-Mart's decision to invest in solar has been a closely watched move and indicator of solar power demand.
Renewable energy projects like solar, wind or biomass can be financially interesting to businesses because they typically allow companies to get a contract with fixed energy prices, which acts as a hedge against rising rates.