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Google CEO Eric Schmidt speaks to a who's who of the top executives in America at the Corporate EcoForum. He outlined a detailed plan to eliminate all utility fossil fuel dependence and 50 percent of automobile fossil fuel dependence by 2030. He says the plan will save consumers money and will protect the Earth -- all part of not being evil.  (Source: Stefanie Olsen/CNET)
Google says that alternative energy justification is simple math

Google has already made it clear that it wants to promote alternative energy in a big way as part of its "Don't be evil" philosophy.  Its initial round of funding included grants to solar and a high-altitude wind power startup.  In its second round, Google granted $10M USD more to a couple of geothermal startups, looking to harness Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) -- which involve injecting water deep into the ground to make steam.

Now Google has outlined a comprehensive plan to accomplish what the U.S. government and private business has thus far been unable to do -- eliminate U.S. dependence on foreign oil and non-renewable energy sources. 

Google CEO Eric Schmidt outlined the new plan at the Corporate EcoForum which featured executives from Coca-Cola, Motorola, Clorox, Microsoft, and other top industry players.  In order to back his plan, Mr. Schmidt used a great deal of calculations.  He says that the justification for adopting alternative energy boils down to basic math, with the formula energy efficiency = savings (or E2=$) being the key.  He stated, "It's just a math problem."

His plan is for the U.S. to by 2030 adopt renewable energy sources for 100 percent of the country's power generation.  This would eliminate the coal-fired plants primarily used to provide electricity.  Further, he says that in that time span half the cars need to be replaced with plug-in hybrids, like the Chevy Volt.

The math adds up, he says.  The result will be to cut U.S. carbon emissions in half, which he says will help to avert man-made climate change.  He says there are also great financial benefits to the adoption.  He says the U.S. would save 97 percent of $2.17 trillion in energy spending over the next 22 years. 

Alternative energy would add up to big in-sourcing of alternative energy design, production, and installation jobs as well, says Mr. Schmidt.  According to his figures, there are currently 500,000 jobs in wind companies alone. 

Google has invested in wind, solar, and geothermal thus far.  Mr. Schmidt explained it is currently avoiding nuclear as it is unsatisfied with current response to security concerns, including physical terrorism or remote online attacks from foreign nationalists.  Mr. Schmidt explains that once these concerns are properly addressed it will start investing in nuclear.  Google is considering tidal and wave power as fourth or fifth investment plan.

While Google has recently filed patents for a floating barge, powered by the ocean's mechanical energy, which could serve as a floating data center, it says it has no current plans to construct it yet.  But, Mr. Schmidt adds, "You never know at Google."

A key question in the alternative energy debate, according to Mr. Schmidt, is how the long it takes to return the investment.  He states, "The model you have of a distributed renewable power structure. It's a matter of how long is the payback?"

He says that it only cost $5M USD for Google to restructure its buildings to cut carbon emissions, and it is reaping the benefits after only 2.5 years.  Furthermore, Schmidt says Google has installed solar and power monitoring equipment, which are currently saving Google money each year.  He adds, "The question is: can any one of you make a difference...Of course we can.  But we must have a policy."

Google's chief blames the country's energy woes on a "total failure of political leadership".  He declined to endorse a specific candidate, but merely stated that the government was being shortsighted on the financial, political, and climate impacts of continued reliance on fossil fuels. 

He argues that one key is for the government to provide tax breaks to energy efficient businesses.  For consumers, he suggests utilities provide consumers with real-time power meters, so they can see their use and then see the savings of items such as home solar installations.  Google is also incorporating climate change projections into Google Earth to help users visualize the future with warming.  For example, it shows the predicted iceless North Pole in the year 2050 if projections of 40 deg. C temperatures hold true.

Google is also focusing its efforts on the Climate Savers Computing Initiative.  The goal of this organization is to work with companies such as AMD and Intel to cut computer power requirements in half by 2010.  This would be equivalent of taking 11 million cars off the road in terms of carbon emission cuts. 

Mr. Schmidt also says there's a need for power grid innovation.  He says the decrepit power grid currently has 9 percent efficiency loss, by his calculations.  This could be eliminated by restructuring the grid and adopting more technologies where customers can feed power back into the grid at times of peak use.  He suggests plug-ins charge at night, then by day put their power back into the grid when unused, forming a sort of battery network.

He describes, "I could imagine a smart garage where I would plug in my car and the computer handles it. I could even make money by cost shifting.  It sure sounds to me like a problem for the Internet...and personal computers. It's the largest opportunity I could possibly imagine.  It solves energy security, energy prices and job creation...and by the way, climate change."

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By masher2 on 9/9/2008 11:40:08 AM , Rating: 4
He says that the justification for adopting alternative energy boils down to basic math, with the formula energy efficiency = savings (or E2=$) being the key
This guy obviously hasn't taken many math classes. There are no "savings" from wind and solar; both are substantially more expensive than conventional source, and both are utterly uncapable of powering more than a small fraction of the nation's energy needs without several quantum advances in construction, energy storage, and energy transmission.

RE: Oops
By masher2 on 9/9/2008 11:42:24 AM , Rating: 3
While Google has recently filed patents for a floating barge, powered by the ocean's mechanical energy, which could serve as a floating data center, it says it has no current plans to construct it
Further highlighting the fact that, despite Google's starry-eyed dreams, their ideas are still utterly impractical, and remain so for the foreseable future.

RE: Oops
By Mitch101 on 9/9/2008 12:13:20 PM , Rating: 5
Sounds like Eric Schmidt slept at a Holiday Inn.

RE: Oops
By Master Kenobi on 9/9/08, Rating: 0
RE: Oops
By JonnyDough on 9/11/08, Rating: -1
RE: Oops
By TomZ on 9/9/2008 12:42:35 PM , Rating: 3
Further highlighting the fact that, despite Google's starry-eyed dreams, their ideas are still utterly impractical, and remain so for the foreseable future.

Not for Google. They are practical - mainly because Google can afford the higher energy costs and still make a fine profit. The same cannot be said for most other businesses/industries. Therefore, what Google advocates, while practical for them, is not possible for most others.

To me, "alternative energy" is only "practical" when the total cost is on par with traditional energy.

RE: Oops
By homerdog on 9/9/2008 12:50:49 PM , Rating: 5
I find it odd that they are reluctant to invest in nuclear power over concerns of terrorism, yet they are filing patents on data centers that float in the ocean.

RE: Oops
By bodar on 9/9/2008 3:00:39 PM , Rating: 5
That should take software piracy to a whole new level.

RE: Oops
By spuddyt on 9/9/2008 3:48:43 PM , Rating: 2
^ +1, that is the only decent pun i've heard in my LIFE

RE: Oops
By JonnyDough on 9/11/2008 5:09:44 AM , Rating: 1
I didn't think it was very punny.

*Smacks elbow

RE: Oops
By DonkeyRhubarb on 9/9/2008 4:21:15 PM , Rating: 1
That should get a 6!

RE: Oops
By FITCamaro on 9/9/2008 5:22:14 PM , Rating: 2
Yar...the high seas be a dangerous place for data...

RE: Oops
By JonnyDough on 9/11/2008 5:11:00 AM , Rating: 2
Well of course! Android robotics and saltwater don't mix!

RE: Oops
By JonnyDough on 9/10/2008 3:33:25 AM , Rating: 1
Is everyone on DT an idiot? First of all, I highly doubt Masher is an energy expert. Google has $ to do some heavy research. Their experts don't 'cruise the net' like Masher does and pretend to be experts. They ARE experts and they get paid 20X as much as Masher does no doubt.

Furthermore, I would think that few data center vessles in various locations around the world would be pretty hard to steal. You can blow up a boat in the middle of the ocean, and servers can be backed up off-site. I think that's the general idea. It's secure, it's powered by the ocean, and most importantly it is COOLED by the ocean. Wasn't I reading about that on here? Maybe it was Popular Science.

It's like gullable is written on everyone's ceiling here or something. Seriously, where did you get your brains? At BrainMart? Crimony.

RE: Oops
By Polynikes on 9/9/2008 1:34:36 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah, seriously. The math is simple, trillions of dollars spent up front to save billions in the future. Maybe we'll break even in 2100.

Google should stick to teh internets.

RE: Oops
By SiliconJon on 9/10/2008 10:43:13 AM , Rating: 2
Nobody here seems to understand what externalities are. Ah, but why bother to explain to self-proclaiming experts only to sound like one myself...

RE: Oops
By cokbun on 9/9/2008 10:25:01 PM , Rating: 2
and remain so for the foreseable future
probably that's what the " by 2030 " means

RE: Oops
By RamarC on 9/9/08, Rating: -1
RE: Oops
By masher2 on 9/9/2008 12:08:00 PM , Rating: 5
In 200 years, the "government" has never once footed a single bill. It's merely passed it on the cost to us taxpayers. But even if one ignores the technical reasons that prevent alternative energy from supply more than a few percent of total energy needs, a boondoggle this size is far larger than we can afford.

Furthermore, the "cost to produce" doesn't get lower as the scale increases -- it *rises*. Wind turbines on 200 foot-tall towers are not computer chips. The more you build, the more steel, copper, and concrete you consume. That raises prices for those raw materials. Trying to power then entire nation on wind would require the entire world output of steel for several years. . . and cause prices to skyrocket beyond anyone's wildest dreams.

RE: Oops
By FITCamaro on 9/9/2008 12:14:10 PM , Rating: 2
Palin/Asher 2012

RE: Oops
By thepalinator on 9/9/2008 12:37:56 PM , Rating: 4
I second that!

Seriously, Google is just trying to grab some free "green" image. I'm sure Schmidt knows he's spouting garbage, but if it persuades a few dimwitted types that Google is a good guy, why not?

RE: Oops
By Oregonian2 on 9/9/2008 12:54:04 PM , Rating: 5
Interesting comment. The McCain/Palin ticket is promoting a future much like Google's both as a way to get power generation 100% domestic but as the next big thing driving American technology much like semiconductors were in the "last round". Big difference is that the McCain/Palin ticket also has aggressive short term objectives (Nuclear, more domestic oil, etc) simultaneous with the Google-like long term in order to achieve results quicker (and it's more than just energy source stability, it also makes OPEC a "who cares" thing in terms of world politics which should yield overall better stability in that arena as well).

The Google guy is funny talking about math where he hasn't done any himself that I can see. The investments they've put in are I think trivial in terms of all that has been invested overall to date. Nice token investments in conceptual things, but still pretty small ones (a startup I once worked for spent over a hundred million of venture capital -- company now extinct).

I think he'll find that 100% change of the power infrastructure may take a good bit longer than that and cost more than the couple trillion of savings by a lot. It's a good start, but it's like thinking that the establishment of the U.N. will lead to world peace and nirvana for all. It helps, but not as easy as that.

RE: Oops
By RamarC on 9/9/2008 12:26:48 PM , Rating: 3
wow. you're saying private companies created microwaves, the integrated chip, fission, etc out of their own pockets. nope, they did it with funding from gov defense contracts.

and the cost to produce wind power is lower. you have to buy oil. you don't buy wind. you have to maintain refineries and you have to maintain wind farms. but wind farms require less labor/maintenance than a refinery (as already proven by the wind farms already in texas).

RE: Oops
By 67STANG on 9/9/08, Rating: -1
RE: Oops
By masher2 on 9/9/2008 12:39:49 PM , Rating: 4
> "Apparently he thinks Nuclear reactors don't use a TON of concrete and steel. "

I've already posted links to a university study demonstrating that, per-MWh generated, nuclear plants use 1/10 the steel and 1/5 the concrete as wind farms. Are you ignoring them, or just philosophically opposed to the truth?

RE: Oops
By 67STANG on 9/9/08, Rating: -1
RE: Oops
By thepalinator on 9/9/2008 12:52:37 PM , Rating: 5
"I'm ignoring the study"
Want some more sand to bury your head in?

RE: Oops
By 67STANG on 9/9/08, Rating: -1
RE: Oops
By kkwst2 on 9/9/2008 1:35:44 PM , Rating: 4
Because you provided no evidence that the study is invalid.

It certainly comes across as "I don't believe it because I don't want to."

Have you seen a wind farm and a nuclear reactor? I don't think you need a study to believe that a nuclear reactor is much more efficient in terms of steel/concrete used.

Now, I'm not saying that there aren't arguments for wind power having a place. But you're barking up the wrong tree with this argument.

RE: Oops
By 67STANG on 9/9/08, Rating: -1
RE: Oops
By Zoomer on 9/9/2008 9:00:43 PM , Rating: 2
It's like comparing an elephant and a turtle.

Sure, they are not all exactly the same, but even a mutant ninja turtle won't come close to the size of an elephant.

RE: Oops
By icanhascpu on 9/9/08, Rating: -1
RE: Oops
By 67STANG on 9/9/08, Rating: -1
RE: Oops
By inighthawki on 9/9/2008 8:19:44 PM , Rating: 3
You are

RE: Oops
By icanhascpu on 9/10/08, Rating: 0
RE: Oops
By JonnyDough on 9/11/2008 5:18:25 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure what the argument is. Who cares if they use 1/10 and 1/5 (LINK PLEASE? I see you state that you posted it but I'm not seeing anywhere north of this post). You have to figure in overall costs. That includes maintainance, waste disposal, man operating hours, construction hours, environmental impacts, length of time used, electricity produced, electricity WASTED (let's face it, nuke plants have to unload energy frequently), and of course, legalities and permits. My guess is that the cost of round the clock security at a nuke plant alone would help to sway any intial cost difference in setup. But unlike you I say "GUESS" rather than act like I know everything.

RE: Oops
By masher2 on 9/9/2008 12:33:23 PM , Rating: 5
> "they did it with funding from gov defense contracts"

There is a large difference between the government funding research, and it paying massive subsidies to prop up an industry which cannot economically produce a product.

> "and the cost to produce wind power is lower"

I'm sorry, but this couldn't be further from the truth. Conventional source of electricity have a wholesale cost from 3.5-7c kWh. Wind *starts* at 7-9c and rises to double that for less than optimal locations. Furthermore, that assumes wind is only filling 10% or less of the local grid's power. As the ratio rises, the problems of load matching and energy surface, raising the cost still further.

This is the reason that the world leader in wind power -- Denmark -- has only been able to achieve a 19% ratio from wind. . . and even there, only by selling excess wind power to the EU grid, and buying back conventional power.

Denmark, by the way, has the highest costs for electricity in all Europe, a rate several times the US average.

RE: Oops
By RamarC on 9/9/08, Rating: -1
RE: Oops
By masher2 on 9/9/2008 1:20:04 PM , Rating: 4
Didn't read your own link, did you? Allow me to quote:
The prices reported here would therefore be higher if wind projects did not have access to these state and federal incentives and, as a result, these prices do not represent wind energy generation costs .
Furthermore, the report points out that the costs for wind power *increased* in 2007, due to the upward price pressure from its consumption of metals.

Also, the costs here (which the report indicates are nowhere near indicative) are only valid when wind fills only a tiny fraction of the total grid. As several studies and real-world examples have proven, load-matching more than about 10% of the grids needs to wind is very costly.

Finally, I'm not sure why you're comparing wind to refinery costs. The majority of electricity generated in this country is from coal, nuclear, and hydro.

RE: Oops
By masher2 on 9/9/2008 1:28:52 PM , Rating: 3
Also from your own link, prices for wind turbines have nearly doubled in the past 6 years.:
Since hitting a nadir of roughly $700/kW in the 2000-2002 period, turbine prices appear to have increased by approximately $600/kW (85%), on average. Between 2006 and 2007, capacity-weighted-
average turbine prices increased by roughly $115/kW (10%), from $1,125/kW to $1,240/kW.
Finally, check out table 8 on page 27, which demonstrates that, once wind rises above about 10% of total supply, integration costs rapidly escalate due to its variable nature, which causes severe under- and over-utilization.

RE: Oops
By RamarC on 9/9/08, Rating: -1
RE: Oops
By masher2 on 9/9/2008 2:08:42 PM , Rating: 4
> "as i pointed out in another post, the DoE subsidized NuStart $260M to figure out where to put a new nuke"

Oops, you've again misread your link. The DOE is funding half of a research project to design a new type of nuclear reactor. It's not paying one cent to subsidize the contruction, purchase, or operation of any actual nuclear plant.

Just last year alone, the federal government spent over $16B to subsidize energy. The WSJ sums it up well:
For electricity generation, the EIA concludes that solar energy is subsidized to the tune of $24.34 per megawatt hour, wind $23.37 and "clean coal" $29.81. By contrast, normal coal receives 44 cents, natural gas a mere quarter, hydroelectric about 67 cents and nuclear power $1.59.

The wind and solar lobbies are currently moaning that they don't get their fair share of the subsidy pie... But wind and solar have been on the subsidy take for years, and they still account for less than 1% of total net electricity generation . Would it make any difference if the federal subsidy for wind were $50 per megawatt hour, or even $100? Almost certainly not without a technological breakthrough.

By contrast, nuclear power provides 20% of U.S. base electricity production, yet it is subsidized about 15 times less than wind .

RE: Oops
By RamarC on 9/9/08, Rating: -1
RE: Oops
By JustTom on 9/10/2008 2:29:43 AM , Rating: 4
and please don't cite opinion columnists who don't support their figures. here's the gospel

Here is a link from the EIA that directly supports the WSJ article.

You used the aggregate for renewable resources rather than item specific. Since the lion's share of renewable energy production is hydro-electric and hydro receives very little government support it skews the numbers for renewables. Solar and wind receive a hugely disproportional share of support compared to every other form of energy production, including other form of renewable energy.

RE: Oops
By Starcub on 9/10/2008 6:44:15 AM , Rating: 2
Solar and wind receive a hugely disproportional share of support compared to every other form of energy production, including other form of renewable energy.

Bio-energy is also recieving significant help. Why? In part I think because the ROI isn't there for those other state of the art techs. Fossile fuels (and nuclear in particular) received huge subsidies through the sixties and into the seventies in part because advances in the geo-sciences and in the physical sciences made large ROI's realistically achievable.

What happened decades ago with currently established industrial techs is now happening with clean renewables partly for the same reason. Additionally, clean renewables have paybacks that are difficult to quantify through financial metrics alone. This is why the subsidies, investments, and advances in clean alternatives will likely continue for at least another decade.

Masher's comment re:govt spending only makes sense from the obvious perspective that technically, the government only has taxpayer money to spend; otherwise it seems to me to be a non-sensical statement.

RE: Oops
By RamarC on 9/10/2008 9:26:19 AM , Rating: 1
you guys won't do math and won't read.

for the 3rd time, tax breaks/credits ARE NOT TAXPAYER PAID subsidies. the PAID subsidies, the ones that come from OUR TAX DOLLARS, place the subsidy RATE for the category at about 2x nukes and the CASH OUTLAY about the same as nukes.

if it weren't for the tax breaks, the wind/soloar industry wouldn't exist since the suppliers couldn't pay transmission taxes and make a profit. tax breaks/credits are given to many fledging industries, and IT COSTS TAXPAYERS NOTHING. so the hype that the gov is FINANCIALLY SUPPORTING the industry is WRONG.

and the topic of the discussion is google is pushing for energy independence from RENEWABLE SOURCES. you naysayers are focusing solely on a few of many RENEWABLE energy sources but i'm citing the figures for the entire RENEWABLE category.

RE: Oops
By JustTom on 9/10/2008 12:56:30 PM , Rating: 2
I am perfectly capable of doing math. Your figures are still skewed if you use renewable as a group. Hydro is by far the biggest source of renewable energy and receives very little governmental support. The simple fact is we are near maxed out on our most important source of renewable power, hydro, and any growth in renewables will have to come from other areas. Solar and wind are small pieces of renewables and receive proportional much more. Whether this is a good or bad thing is arguable but it is true.

Tx breaks certainly do impact taxpayers. Producing renewable energy incurs opportunity costs. Skewing the market by giving an advantage to renewable energy means the money used cannot be used in other areas that would be more profitable and thus lead to higher tab payments. Once again whether this is a good thing is arguable, there are benefits to renewable energy that might warrant government backing. But saying it is without cost to taxpayers is a canard.

RE: Oops
By Solandri on 9/10/2008 4:44:49 AM , Rating: 4
and please don't cite opinion columnists who don't support their figures. here's the gospel (table ES1).

Page 18 of your link has a table (ES5) which confirms the $23-$30 per MWh subsidy amounts quoted by the WSJ "opinion columnist" quoted by M. Asher.

Tax breaks/credits cost taxpayers just as much as spending. If the government starts with a balanced budget and spends $4b on subsidies, it will have a $4b deficit. If the government starts with a balanced budget and gives $4b in tax breaks, it will have a $4b deficit. The only incentive which doesn't cost us money are loan guarantees (they only carry the risk that they will cost us money if the borrower defaults).

RE: Oops
By nah on 9/9/2008 1:43:17 PM , Rating: 2
There is a large difference between the government funding research, and it paying massive subsidies to prop up an industry which cannot economically produce a product.

the fact is nuclear has benefited tremendously from govt. funding--the Manhattan Project alone costs an estimated USD 30 billion in 2008 dollars. In economic terms the end results is the same --in both the cases money flows out of the govt. exchequer
Also. nuclear is not the ultimate solution, ultimately, only about 70 million tonnes of uranium and thorium may be available--depending on technology. Using breeder reactors--which are yet unproven commercially , 30 to 40 times the energy could come out of the fuel--that would still mean around 2.1 to 2.8 billion tonnes of uranium/thorium equivalent. To supply world energy usage at around 6 TWs per year would require around 15-20 million tons of uranium--enough energy for perhaps 110,000 years ;)--what afterward--although I grant that we'll all be safely dead

RE: Oops
By masher2 on 9/9/2008 1:47:35 PM , Rating: 2
> "...around 15-20 million tons of uranium--enough energy for perhaps 110,000 years ;)--what afterward [?]"

Thorium. It's three times as plentiful as uranium, and can be just as easily used in a nuclear reactor.

RE: Oops
By nah on 9/9/2008 2:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
Thorium. It's three times as plentiful as uranium, and can be just as easily used in a nuclear reactor.

I've included thorium in the reserves list--

RE: Oops
By nah on 9/9/2008 1:49:43 PM , Rating: 1
110,000 years ;

Typo-110 years

RE: Oops
By masher2 on 9/9/2008 2:30:45 PM , Rating: 3
No. If you're simply using the known reserves today, you're using a figure several orders of magnitude too small. Uranium prospecting stopped nearly as soon as it began. Why spend money looking for more deposits, when you've already found much more than you need for the foreseeable future?

In 1915, known world deposits of oil were not even enough to last ten years. Yet a century later, despite world consumption dozens of times greater, we now have *fifty* years of known reserves. Understand that, and you'll see why your 110 figure is total nonsense.

Furthermore, you certainly haven't included thorium in that figure. Thorium has never been seriously prospected for.

Assuming reprocessing, there's enough uranium and thorium on earth to power civilization for many tens of thousands of years, without even having to delve deeply into the earth's crust, or mine asteroids. Factor in either of those, and the supply is essentially unlimited.

RE: Oops
By nah on 9/9/2008 3:16:46 PM , Rating: 2
you certainly haven't included thorium in that figure.

I have--read Nature Vol 454 Aug 14 2008--Electricity without carbon

RE: Oops
By FITCamaro on 9/9/2008 3:19:40 PM , Rating: 3
The Manhattan Project had absolutely nothing to do with nuclear power. Did it pave the way for allowing us to utilize nuclear power? Yes. But it has as much to do with nuclear power generation as the invention of plastic has to do with making plastic figurines.

RE: Oops
By RamarC on 9/9/2008 7:27:04 PM , Rating: 1
But it has as much to do with nuclear power generation as the invention of plastic has to do with making plastic figurines.

so, can you make plastic figurines without plastic?

RE: Oops
By nah on 9/10/2008 2:14:52 AM , Rating: 2
The Manhattan Project had absolutely nothing to do with nuclear power

The equivalent quote in IT would be the 8086 having absolutely nothing in common with the core2duo, or the p4

RE: Oops
By BigPeen on 9/9/2008 3:29:08 PM , Rating: 2
You can get uranium from seawater. If so facto, nearly unlimited supply of uranium

RE: Oops
By OoklaTheMok on 9/9/2008 6:23:20 PM , Rating: 2
There is a large difference between the government funding research, and it paying massive subsidies to prop up an industry which cannot economically produce a product.

Yeah, government never props up economically unsound industries...

*cough* Boeing
*cough* Fannie Mae
*cough* Freddie Mac
*cough* Bear Sterns
*cough* The State of California
*cough* *cough* *cough*

RE: Oops
By JustTom on 9/10/2008 2:42:39 AM , Rating: 4
I would argue all those were bad decisions since they remove risk from those who seek to profit.

RE: Oops
By NT78stonewobble on 9/10/2008 8:22:54 AM , Rating: 2
Hi masher. Don't know which figures you are referring too but for end user electricity prices in Denmark.

25 % Is for generating the electricity.
1 % Is for the powersupplier subscription.
7 % Is for for gridsupplier subscription.
10 % Is for use of the grid.
2 % Is public obligations into research or enviromental friendly electricity production.
29 % Is an electricity tax.
4 % Is an CO2 tax.
2 % Is an power distribution tax.
20 % Is the danish equivalent of V.A.T.

Apparently 55 % of the end user price in Denmark is taxes...

RE: Oops
By Oregonian2 on 9/9/2008 12:38:18 PM , Rating: 2
Government may have been a customer, but it still was private companies that did those things.

As to the cost to produce power -- I personally don't know about cost, but I do know the price of wind power is higher than that of conventional means. I'm given choice by my utility to buy wind power and other alternative power choices and the per-kwh that I'm offered is significantly higher for those alternatives. Price I know and have in hard numbers (albeit the paper printed on is has since been recycled into who knows what). Are you saying that the wind power companies are ripping us off?

RE: Oops
By masher2 on 9/9/2008 12:41:47 PM , Rating: 3
I'm given choice by my utility to buy wind power and other alternative power choices and the per-kwh that I'm offered is significantly higher for those alternatives.
Even worse is the fact that this higher cost is already substantially subsidized by the government...a cost you wind up paying eventually, hidden deep in your tax bill.

RE: Oops
By 67STANG on 9/9/08, Rating: -1
RE: Oops
By masher2 on 9/9/2008 1:02:10 PM , Rating: 2
No. Nuclear research is still funded by the government -- the majority of that goes to basic research in fusion, however. The nuclear power industry itself does not receive subsidies.

Furthermore, the only decomissioning costs paid by the federal government were for locations such as Hanford, where nuclear weapons and weapons-grade materials were manufactured.

RE: Oops
By 67STANG on 9/9/2008 2:49:14 PM , Rating: 2
145.5 billion in subsidies have been paid out in the last 50 years to nuclear.

Actually I, and everyone else where I live pays a decommissioning charge-- every month to SCE.

RE: Oops
By FITCamaro on 9/9/2008 3:38:31 PM , Rating: 1
He didn't say you didn't. Read what he said.

RE: Oops
By 67STANG on 9/9/08, Rating: -1
RE: Oops
By JonnyDough on 9/11/2008 5:30:56 AM , Rating: 2
Who really cares what he said? He rarely backs anything up, yet speaks as though he's an encyclopedia. DT. Bleh.

RE: Oops
By Doormat on 9/9/2008 5:07:38 PM , Rating: 2
What about the billions for Yucca Mtn to store waste?

The industry is essentially getting the government to build the facility to take over responsibility of storing the waste.

RE: Oops
By FITCamaro on 9/9/2008 5:20:12 PM , Rating: 2
If we start reprocessing fuel, there won't be any real waste to speak of. And you can't exactly leave what nuclear waste there is in the hands of private companies.

RE: Oops
By Doormat on 9/9/2008 5:25:22 PM , Rating: 3
I agree on the reprocessing front. But why cant we leave it in the hands of private companies. They're the ones who made money off the power they sold, they should have to clean up their mess. Why should the government take it off their hands?

RE: Oops
By Solandri on 9/10/2008 4:56:13 AM , Rating: 2
Because reprocessing is currently banned by the government. Breeder (reprocessing) reactors produce weapons-grade plutonium as a byproduct, which is part of the reason why the government decided to ban them. So the nuclear waste "mess" is really of the government's own making.

Given that we probably don't want private facilities producing weapons-grade plutonium, any breeder reactor will probably have to be owned and operated by the government. So whether we store the stuff in Yucca or reprocess it, the government is going to be paying for it either way.

I actually consider Yucca to be a better idea than some of the safer proposals (like sealing it in ceramic pellets). If we ever change our minds and decide to reprocess, we'd just have to go into Yucca and pull the radioactive material out. If you've sealed the material in ceramic pellets, there's going to be some nasty crushing, grinding, and melting required to extract the material.

RE: Oops
By FITCamaro on 9/10/2008 7:41:23 AM , Rating: 2
The government doesn't have to own it. They just have to have monitors on site to ensure the plutonium is extracted from the reprocessed material and then securely shipped to a government facility.

RE: Oops
By FITCamaro on 9/10/2008 7:37:55 AM , Rating: 2
Why should the government take it off their hands?

Companies pay the government to store the waste. The government doesn't just take it off their hands.

RE: Oops
By 67STANG on 9/9/2008 6:04:41 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, the government should be responsible for the waste. They should also be responsible to allow the recycling of the spent fuel. Currently a lot of the Uranium ore is not being used as we are still using fuel from dismantled weapons, per our contract with Russia. That contract ends in 2013.

You can only recycle the Uranium so many times before it is totatly unusable, but I can't seem to find the details on how many times it takes before that becomes the case.

RE: Oops
By JonnyDough on 9/11/2008 5:48:25 AM , Rating: 1
Call me a liberalist if you feel you must but I like to think I live in a reality and am not blinded by emotion like the millions of soldiers who signed up for active duty following 911...

Wake up. Bush = oil. Arnie took over as governor after Enron, who caused the Cali energy "crisis". Arnie and Bush are dear friends. Doesn't anyone realize that energy and politics go hand in hand yet? Why the heck do you think we're in Iraq? It isn't because of weapons of mass destruction, it isn't because of Christianity (I'll be darned if anyone in non-local politics actually has or believes in a God), and it isn't because we're hunting a "bad man" who killed a few thousand civilians with our own airplanes in broad daylight. It certainly isn't to bring our perfect little democracy to the good people of Iraq either, as we Americans are pretty much ready to string up anyone here that even gets an idea about wearing a turban.

No, the reason we are in Iraq is because we're dumb enough to "support the war" (occupation), we're ethnocentric enough to think that they should have democracy like us, and we're blind enough to be used to make a few guys sitting together drinking beers a lot of freaking money.

War = MONEY. Defense contracts, military budget, taxation, First, we sell weapons. Then, we kill and take the weapons back. Then, we sell the weapons again. The United States is the LARGEST ARMS DEALER IN THE WORLD. How the heck could we NOT be. We have a "defense" budget that makes the gross domestic product of several nations around the world look like a child's allowance.

Anyway, what does this have to do with Yucca Mt.? Simple. The big guys at the top of the totem own politics with cash, just like they own the energy industry. Remember our friends years ago at AT&T? They're no different.

Democracy is DEAD. D-E-A-D. DEAD.

We live in an OLIGARCHY.

Bush is quite possibly nothing more than a puppet. Democracy is a curtain for what is really going on. There is no better way to take away the freedoms of Americans than to tell them their freedoms are being threatened and that you will protect them, but that you need their keys.

If you give me your keys, I promise you I'll keep you safe from the bad guys. For this service you need only to pay me 60% in taxes (30% income, 20% business, 10% everything else and if you play the lotto that's more money for me too). If for some reason you object, you're a communist if it's the cold war, and a terrorist if it's post 911. In either case, you can be rest assured that I won't torture you. However, my Cuban friends who I embargoed to keep my secrets, have no problem bleeding you to death.

Rest easy tonight, for I am watching over you.

~Big Brother

RE: Oops
By JonnyDough on 9/11/2008 5:49:58 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Oops
By FITCamaro on 9/9/2008 12:45:45 PM , Rating: 2
Yes the initial designs for those things were developed under government contracts due to a need for them. But after that, yes it was done by private industry. Intel doesn't get money from the government to develop quad core processors. GE doesn't get money to produce better microwaves. The government has invested millions (maybe billions) in solar. What has it netted? Nothing economically feasible without massive subsidies.

And just because the "fuel" is free doesn't mean you get all you want. No wind = no power. No sun = no power. Pure and simple. Are you going to sit in the heat of the summer with no AC because it is/was a cloudy, windless day? Nuclear, coal, oil, geo-thermal don't suffer from that problem. Geo-thermal always works. Nuclear always works and only needs new fuel every now and then and you can reuse the same fuel for decades (even centuries). Oil and coal just need a steady supply of oil/coal.

And your post really didn't address anything he said to begin with.

RE: Oops
By RamarC on 9/9/08, Rating: -1
RE: Oops
By masher2 on 9/9/2008 1:56:42 PM , Rating: 3
> "one of the largest solar park in operation is a 10MW unit in pocking germany that was built [at] at a cost of 40M euro."

That's nearly $60M, plus much more in government grants and subsidies, all for a plant that, once the availability factor is figured in, will generate only about 2.5MW. It's also one of the largest solar plants in the world (some 10 (*miles* of solar cells)

Contrast that to a nuclear or coal installation, the largest of which generates 3,000X as much power, on sites as small as a few hundred acres (less than 1 square mile).

RE: Oops
By Runiteshark on 9/9/2008 4:09:49 PM , Rating: 1
I really don't understand why these idiots love bringing up their crappy windfarms in Europe, and then even comparing it to nuclear, citing how much it costs, and then forget how much power a nuke plant puts out in comparison.

I hate people.

RE: Oops
By Oregonian2 on 9/9/2008 12:31:41 PM , Rating: 2
Actually it already has in terms of windmill prices where the demand has outstripped availability by quite a bit of late where the cost effectiveness of wind power has declined even more due to the price rise (and why the makers are expanding as fast as they can -- but still takes quite a bit of time).

That said, there is some economy of scale in the production of the windmills much like having a large car factory vs a small custom car house. But no, it's not anywhere near the cost savings of silicon or software replication that Google might be most familiar with.

RE: Oops
By foolsgambit11 on 9/10/2008 4:20:27 PM , Rating: 2
I get what you're saying. But there's a key difference between people just buying into things and the government buying into things, and that's choice.

In the first model, only the 'early adopters' pay for new technology. So there are ridiculously few (if any) early adopters. Only rich people who squander money and mega-enthusiasts in the field.

In the second model, everybody's paying for the technology, and the early adopters pay again, but less than if everybody were paying. So there are few early adopters, but more than under model number 1. Rich people and middle class people can jump in early, along with enthusiasts and even the moderately curious. Assuming the taxes don't destroy the economy, this can speed up, or even make feasible, a development that would have had trouble getting off the ground initially.

Considering that the government in the U.S. is supposed to express the will of the people, philosophically, the second method is valid. And considering that nuclear power plants (your personal 'little bundle of joy') are feasible today thanks to that very method, I'm sure you'll accept the principle. Considering that the size of the 'boondoggle' wasn't discussed, it's unfair for you to jump all over it. Maybe Google's plan would involve a carbon tax, letting us pay for advancing green tech directly, making it price competitive with coal and natural gas. It would simultaneously play well into the campaign that "E2=$" by promoting energy efficiency thanks to increased electricity costs.

The 'cost to produce' does get lower to a point. And if you mix technologies - solar, wind, and geothermal are the ones Google said it was targeting - you can find the optimal price point for each, based on natural resources restrictions and their relative necessity for each. I don't think anybody is suggesting we should make our power generation 100% wind. Nor that we should make all the generators we will in "several years". For centralized production, while wind farms are prominent, solar-thermal and geothermal seem more viable in the long run to me. For decentralized production (which isn't very effective now thanks to those pesky grid problems), wind can be good in some regions. Solar can be good.

I think the grid updates and decentralized power production should be undertaken either way, based on a national security need. Decentralized power makes the grid more robust and makes terrorism or enemy government attacks less devastating. You may not be able to cause a nuclear disaster by bombing a nuclear plant, but you can cut it, and other major generation sites, off from the grid pretty easily.

I'll agree nuclear gets a worse rap than it deserves. And it defaults to economies of scale - 'they only come in one size, extra large.' And that it works for France, albeit, with household electricity costs about 50% above current US rates. (

There are my thoughts. Now chew me up and spit me out.

RE: Oops
By ipay on 9/9/2008 12:10:26 PM , Rating: 4
He argues that one key is for the government to provide tax breaks to energy efficient businesses.

Those are the "savings" Google is looking for.

RE: Oops
By nah on 9/9/2008 1:23:57 PM , Rating: 1
both are substantially more expensive

Expensive is relative--

Taxpayers in the United States will pay $656.1 billion for total Iraq war spending approved to date. For the same amount of money, the following could have been provided: 679,232,570 Homes with Renewable Electricity for One Year

RE: Oops
By foolsgambit11 on 9/10/2008 4:34:11 PM , Rating: 2
Well, that's over 5 years of spending, so average annual costs of the war would pay to power only 135 million homes or so. That's only 85% of the households in the United States. The other 15% would have to pay their way to renewable themselves....

RE: Oops
By danrien on 9/9/2008 3:51:09 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't seem to me like he's saying alternative energy is at all the saving force - instead it looks like he is saying Energy Efficiency is what saves the bucks - and certainly, in Google's world of massive banks of fast spinning drives sucking down power every time somebody does a search (not to mention active indexing occurring all the time), looking for ways to increase energy efficiency is certainly practical from a monetary standpoint.

Certainly, I can imagine that a lot of our power infrastructure has suffered lots of wear and tear over the years - and every time you add a bit of rust to a wire, you lower its efficiency in carrying power. Not to mention (assumed) advances that have come from continued research in transformers, interference, etc. I highly doubt that many of the energy monopolies present in modern-day America have bothered to update their power infrastructure with that technology.

And to be picky, "uncapable" is not a word. Perhaps you were looking for "incapable"?

RE: Oops
By Pavelyoung on 9/9/2008 4:05:36 PM , Rating: 1
Actually solar power plants are a one time investment that dont require any additional costs aside from regualr maintenace. Thats a huge difference from say a coal fired plant that needs a constant stream of coal for fuel to make that electricity that we all crave so much.

Wind generators are just freaking annoying. The damn things are loud as hell and ugly as sin. Now I am willing to overlook the ugly part, but there is no way I can deal with the constant annoying noise those things make.

So, what does that leave us?

RE: Oops
By Staples on 9/9/2008 5:09:50 PM , Rating: 2
Well you are right on one part, alternative energy is not able to produce enough electricity at our current rate of usage. If we actually do what is the most effective (not to mention free) thing which is called conservation, alternative energy would be able to power at least the electric grid in most industrialized countries. The current usage (which involves a lot of waste) will be very hard to generate through alternative means.

I work in a school district and all our computers are on 24/7. Same thing at the college I used to go to. The amount of unnecassary waste is mind blowing.

RE: Oops
By StevoLincolnite on 9/10/2008 2:59:06 AM , Rating: 2
Well you are right on one part, alternative energy is not able to produce enough electricity at our current rate of usage.

Well we can make those who complain about Solar and Wind, and those who complain about Nuclear and just go pure Geothermal, once the technology reaches better maturity it has the possibility of being a "Limitless and Endless" Power supply.

RE: Oops
By OoklaTheMok on 9/9/2008 7:05:06 PM , Rating: 2
Of course there are savings, though your myopic viewpoint prevents you from acknowledging them.

Savings include reduced military costs due to less intervention in the middle east, lower health care costs due to fewer pollution related ailments, lower toxic clean-up costs, to name but a few.

You love to ignore the secondary effects of our energy production and consumption, unless someone slaps the global warming label on it, and then you are all over it like stink on...

Our energy production and consumption effects peoples health and well-being, by way of pollution in our air, our streams and our lakes. Clean energy production is about a lot more than just climate change and it wouldn't hurt you to open your eyes every now and then to acknowledge it.

RE: Oops
By ipay on 9/9/2008 7:07:45 PM , Rating: 2
On one side we have the world's climate scientists in every national science academy of every major industrialised country on the planet, along with a multitude of very clever people, including Google. They all confirm and accept recent climate change is due to human activity.

On the other side we have a joke shop collection of scientifically illiterate wingnuts, such as Asher, supported by a little enclave of ageing and discredited scientists, who are almost entirely in the employ of ExxonMobil and the energy cartels.

It's becoming amusing to watch Asher, dashing around, ever more desperately denying reality. It's almost pitiable.

While the likes of Asher are squawking and obfuscating, others are doing something to solve the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced. The latter group is worthy of admiration, the former only contempt.

RE: Oops
By inighthawki on 9/9/2008 8:15:06 PM , Rating: 2
Most solar panels these days are not only more than capable of powering a single person's home in an adequate amount of space, but the cost is down too. Sure the original purchase is greater than the immediate payoffs, but once you aren't so closed minded and realize that after x amount of years, you will begin to save money, then there's a reward.

Quit looking at "OMG it costs way too much" and realize that "After so many years, my electricity bill would end up way higher than this", plus you save on carbon emissions, not that i even think global warming exists.

RE: Oops
By JustTom on 9/10/2008 2:51:34 AM , Rating: 2
Solar panels,even with government subsidies, are hardly a winning financial decision now. Remove the subsidies and they certainly aren't. Of course, this will probably change as oil prices rise and solar prices fall. But I have been hearing cheap solar is around the corner for 30 years and it still hasn't happened.

RE: Oops
By winterspan on 9/15/2008 5:22:57 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, most of your points are incorrect. In the long term, after paying off initial infrastructure costs, Solar-thermal, wind, hydro, biofuels, and other renewable energy sources CAN be *cheaper* than the Coal alternative. And this is with existing technology -- just imagine the innovations in technology in the next decade or two that will only increase the cost-efficiency of these solutions.

"and both are utterly uncapable of powering more than a small fraction of the nation's energy needs"

Let's see some sources. From the all the reports and data I've seen, this is pure fiction unless your idea of a "small fraction" is roughly 35-50% our current power needs.

The southwestern United States has an enormous region of prime solar power land, and likewise a huge swath of the midwest is a prime candidate for Wind energy. Couple that with two massive coastlines for wave, tidal, offshore wind, and other energy generation technologies, and your "small fraction" argument doesn't hold water.

Add in biofuel technology like algae-provided methane or hydrogen, cellulosic ethanol, garbage gassification, et al and next-generation cleaner and safer nuclear technology, and we shouldn't need to even have ANY conventional coal-powered powerplants in the country. But I'm certainly not against it if they are able to create an efficient system of carbon sequestration.

On a side note, I'm really sick of your cynical attitude towards the environment, renewable energy, hybrid vehicles, etc, not to mention your reactionary knee-jerk Friedman-esque response to any type of government intervention or regulation. Do you have to contaminate every articles' comment section with your vile attitude? I guarantee it turns many off from this website.

By hemmy on 9/9/2008 11:37:47 AM , Rating: 2
So Google is dumber than I thought...

RE: Ugh
By RamarC on 9/9/2008 11:41:09 AM , Rating: 3
yeah, they're so dumb they only made $1.6B last quarter. those morons!

RE: Ugh
By bighairycamel on 9/9/2008 11:42:40 AM , Rating: 2
Dumb: maybe not so much
Tree hugging hippies: more so than not

RE: Ugh
By daftrok on 9/9/2008 11:52:35 AM , Rating: 5
How is saving money by cutting down energy make Google a tree hugging hippie? You change the source of energy to something grown HERE you cut down on foreign taxes on importing goods. You cut down the energy used you save money.

People that believe cutting down on energy and focusing on renewable sources is stupid are retarded and are the reason why we are in this mess in the first place. I'm not cutting the government off the hook for not properly funding alternate energy endeavors, but I believe that it is ultimately down to the people. If they don't want to buy energy efficient bulbs or buy fuel efficient cars it's their own fault.

RE: Ugh
By masher2 on 9/9/2008 12:03:47 PM , Rating: 3
> "How is saving money by cutting down energy "

If you can reduce your energy usage -- and still provide the same services -- you save money. If you switch from cheap coal and nuclear power to expensive wind and exorbitantly expensive solar, you *spend* vast amounts of money.

But there's a far more inconvenient fact. With current technology, its physically impossible for us to power the entire country with wind and solar. The wind doesn't blow constantly, nor does the sun shine always. The problems of matching a highly variable power source to a variable demand on the scale of multiple gigawatts are beyond us. We can't even build batteries to allow a car to travel more than a few dozen miles, and people think we can store enough energy to power a city overnight?

When will people learn to *think*?

RE: Ugh
By RamarC on 9/9/2008 12:20:50 PM , Rating: 2
because you can't do something now , doesn't mean it's physically impossible.

we don't have viable alternative energy sources because we have not invested enough in the pure research necessary to achieve it. as with the manhattan project, if we made it a national goal we could do it. the nuclear bomb went from theory to reality in 20 years so why not uber-capacity batteries or geo-thermal generating plants?

just redirecting 5% of the 2008 dept of defense budget to the dept of energy (which is already part of the national defense budget) would double the DoEs budget. i think we could figure out a lot of the technical "impossibilities" with $22B a year in energy research.

RE: Ugh
By FITCamaro on 9/9/2008 12:29:07 PM , Rating: 3
So instead of going with a far more reliable and cheaper method of power production now, we should spend hundreds of billions over the next 20 years to try and get something that's far less reliable and far more expensive to be more practical. And assuming we can, then build it.

The government needs to get out of the way and let companies build the plants that produce the most amount of power for the least amount of cost. That is nuclear. If and when solar and wind are able to compete, power companies will adopt that instead.

RE: Ugh
By Rurata on 9/9/2008 1:48:24 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think he's trying to say we should cut all forms of power generation from non-renewable sources right this instant. He's just trying to say that we seriously need to start thinking about switching to renewable energy sources, and he gave a detailed plan on how it could be done by 2030; and in order to do so, we need to fund more research into making these energy sources a viable option. Like other people have said, oil will only get more expensive, and when it reaches the point where it's the same as wind/solar energy is now (7-9c/kwhr was it?) do you really not want to have alternate sources that will only get cheaper as the technology is developed?

As for people saying that wind/solar isn't realistic because you can't store electricity that way, I direct you to some research done by MIT. They have developed a battery that can split water into H and O which can be stored and recombined later when you need it(essentially a fuel cell where you don't need to supply the H). This technology could be used in conjunction with wind/solar energy to make them a viable source. Isn't that something you would want to fund? Here's a link to one of the articles about it:

RE: Ugh
By bobsmith1492 on 9/9/2008 2:01:48 PM , Rating: 2
There are lots of options for storage. The problem is scaling to massive amounts of energy and doing it cost-effectively. The best at both of these is pumped hydro storage.

RE: Ugh
By atrabilious on 9/9/2008 2:52:18 PM , Rating: 2
A government study showed there is more untapped hydropower in Canada than needed to power all of North America. If we want to build the kind of power lines that can pipe wind and solar thousands of miles, we can use that a lot cheaper.

RE: Ugh
By Solandri on 9/10/2008 5:05:42 AM , Rating: 2
Please don't mix hydro with solar and wind. Hydro (and geothermal where it's available) are high-density power sources that are very cost effective. You can extract a lot of power with a small amount of infrastructure.

Solar and wind are very low-density power sources - you need to cover a large amount of area with a lot of infrastructure to extract a lot of power. Consequently, they end up having poor cost effectiveness when you factor in construction and maintenance costs.

RE: Ugh
By Solandri on 9/10/2008 5:30:38 AM , Rating: 2
Like other people have said, oil will only get more expensive, and when it reaches the point where it's the same as wind/solar energy is now (7-9c/kwhr was it?) do you really not want to have alternate sources that will only get cheaper as the technology is developed?

Wind is 7-15 c/kWh, solar is 20-40 c/kWh.

Oil prices don't really impact electricity prices much in the U.S. The vast majority of electricity generation in the U.S. is coal, gas, and nuclear (49%, 20%, 19% respectively, the next biggest being hydro). Oil only produces 1.6% of our electricity.

The U.S. is the world's Saudi Arabia of coal, so the current 2.5-4 c/kWh cost of coal-generated electricity is going to be the target price for a very long time.

Where oil prices have the greatest impact is on transportation costs, then industry (mostly plastics). So expect those to transition over to electric, natural gas, and (maybe) hydrogen relatively quickly.

RE: Ugh
By FITCamaro on 9/10/2008 7:44:11 AM , Rating: 2
I'm more for investing in bio-technology that produces oil. They've got freakin algae making gas and diesel. The oil companies should just invest hardcore in that and not even have to drill for oil once its perfected.

RE: Ugh
By robinthakur on 9/10/2008 5:22:20 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think Wind and Solar Power should be concentrated on quite so much, but I'd really like to see some government subsidy on GeoThermal as this seems the most viable of all the alternate energy sources along with tidal (although something tells me maintenance of the latter would really cost long term)

Obviously not all technologies arrive fully developed and massively efficient, but do require some research to be fully viable for the mass market. Perhaps on a home by home basis some of your electricity could be self generated on site through wind or solar, with the majority coming from external sources. Some sources have more obvious limitations than others however, and I'm not sure why people concentrate so much on Solar and Wind, especially due to their variability, cost and use of natural resources (not the least of which is land) which could be better used building more revolving skyscrapers in Dubai :)

I tend to agree with Masher on this one also. Its not important to do something rather than nothing, what is important is that you do the right thing. If a politician can show a decent leadership on this issue they can really make it work for themselves as well as for everyone's benefits, but uncomfortable truths are rarely spoken by cowards. Imagine how different the world would be if each country could sustain itself for energy. People would stop invading other countries for their oil reserves and concentrate on fighting about land disputes instead. It would be the 80's all over again!

RE: Ugh
By blaster5k on 9/9/2008 1:21:51 PM , Rating: 2
Throwing money at a problem doesn't always provide answers.

RE: Ugh
By BansheeX on 9/9/2008 1:51:25 PM , Rating: 3
And throwing someone else's money at the problem produces even less answers, and that's exactly what the government does. They're a bunch of lawyers who were paid to lie for a living and have no qualms about throwing billions of forcibly appropriated money out the window as a kickback to someone who financed their campaign, or just out of idealist stupidity (ethanol) on an industry they know jackshizz about.

RE: Ugh
By 67STANG on 9/9/08, Rating: -1
RE: Ugh
By FITCamaro on 9/9/2008 12:30:46 PM , Rating: 3
When you're speaking the truth about reality as it exists today, you really don't have anything else to say.

RE: Ugh
By FITCamaro on 9/9/2008 12:16:00 PM , Rating: 3
The ability to make money in the computer field does not make them genius's in the environmental or power production fields.

A fact Hollywood would do well to learn. And even our Senators. Especially Pelosi and Reid who are only concerned with their own investment portfolios.

RE: Ugh
By JonnyDough on 9/10/2008 3:38:18 AM , Rating: 1
Exactly what I was thinking. How everyone on the internet got to be such an expert on everything I'll never know. Second guessing EVERYTHING and EVERYONE who is obviously smarter and better informed than they are. I mean, these DT bloggers act as if they know everything. I wonder if they diss small economy cars on a regular basis because they think that they're stupid and ugly, or if it's because they know they can't ever drive one because they can't fit into them with the super inflated and misplaced egos they carry around. Crimony!

RE: Ugh
By JustTom on 9/10/2008 1:03:32 PM , Rating: 2
So next time there is an article on anything we should all say hurraahhhh! and not make any other comments?

RE: Ugh
By JonnyDough on 9/11/2008 5:01:34 AM , Rating: 2
These are blogs, not articles. Articles are researched, edited, proofread, and archived. Furthermore, you don't send a sports writer to cover weather. You get the expert to do it. These guys aren't experts on anything except "everything."

RE: Ugh
By phxfreddy on 9/9/2008 12:49:02 PM , Rating: 2
Not dumb...just selfish. They think we little people should be using less petroleum so they can fuel their Jumbo 767 jet that they go special dispensation to keep at the airport next to them.

The technical ignorance is staggering
By Amiga500 on 9/9/2008 11:42:24 AM , Rating: 2
From a man that is supposed to be CEO of one of the world's leading 'technical' companies.

- No discussion over variability of supply.
- No discussion over redundancy.
- More half baked ideas on efficiency.

Companies already have a large incentive to 'get with the program' regarding energy efficiency - they are already doing so. There is not as much room for improvement as many believe.

RE: The technical ignorance is staggering
By masher2 on 9/9/2008 11:45:45 AM , Rating: 3
Of course. What does Google care? They're not a utility; they won't be the ones trying to clean up the mess from such halk-baked ideas. Talk is cheap, and it helps build their image at no cost to themselves.

RE: The technical ignorance is staggering
By FITCamaro on 9/9/2008 12:10:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I just lost a lot of respect for Google. Especially considering that they are saying nuclear is "unsafe".

We could easily power the country with complete nuclear power. That would get us off oil and coal for power generation real quick. But we won't because of environmental lobbies and public misconception about the supposed "dangers" of nuclear power. It's the only way to do it efficiently and reliably people.

I also don't like how they're basically implying that using oil and coal is "evil" by stating getting off them as sources of energy as part of their "Do No Evil" motto.

By JonnyDough on 9/11/2008 5:05:57 AM , Rating: 2
I don't recall them saying that nuclear was "unsafe." From the article above it mentions that they aren't satisfied with the level of security that nuclear plants have yet.

Furthermore, when is the last time people evacuated an area because of a wind turbine meltdown? I rest my case. Maybe YOU are too young to remember the little 3 Mile Island Incident in the 80's, but I was a young boy living in PA back then and I remember hearing about it.

RE: The technical ignorance is staggering
By 67STANG on 9/9/2008 12:29:04 PM , Rating: 2
Talk is certainly cheap, but I'm sure the 9,212 solar panels they installed at their Mountain View facility were not.

RE: The technical ignorance is staggering
By FITCamaro on 9/9/2008 12:33:23 PM , Rating: 2
And more power to them (no pun intended) for doing so. But just because they were able to do that because they had both the space and money to do so, that doesn't mean everyone does.

What do you propose the giant skyscrapers in New York City do? Replace all their windows with solar panels?

RE: The technical ignorance is staggering
By 67STANG on 9/9/2008 12:54:42 PM , Rating: 2
True, Google definately has the bankroll to install solar. Sky scrapers are pretty much hosed. There are some things they can do. They could buy everyone one of those human power generators.


RE: The technical ignorance is staggering
By FITCamaro on 9/9/2008 2:31:30 PM , Rating: 2
Actually money is the least of the problem. It's having the space to do it. Solar requires massive amounts of land. That's fine in places where its available and available cheaply. But its not like you can build a several square mile solar park in the middle of the city.

I've no problem with solar being used in limited areas. People or businesses want to put them on their roof, great. But it should be at their own cost and their own discretion. But to me the idea of building solar power plants that put out a fraction of the energy while taking up far more space and costing more than a conventional plant is ludicrous.

We could so easily be a clean power nation with nuclear and geo-thermal. Energy sources that for all practical purposes, will never run out. What the environmentalists have been supposedly fighting for for decades. But they're the ones stopping us from doing it.

I think if we should spend money on anything it should be perfecting fusion. We harness that power, and we'll have all the power we'll ever need.

RE: The technical ignorance is staggering
By redsquid5 on 9/9/2008 3:01:38 PM , Rating: 2
ah, fooey. Space is no biggie, and solar pays right now.

I was part of a project recently. About 20% of the site's roof space provided room for panels that eliminated the entire peak usage, about 30% of the plants total usage. But that dropped the power costs by 60%, because that peak power cost $.40 per KWH, while the off peak was about $.09

A big problem with most power plants is the constant power output; ie, you have major output capacity at times when there is insufficient demand. This is why electric cars make so much sense; charge at night when electricity is cheap and there is enormous over capacity, then use the power when it is expensive. Summer noon to 5 is the most expensive power in California; the utility gives my plant a MAJOR discount if we turn off the lights and air conditioning when they are near a brownout.

By FITCamaro on 9/9/2008 3:15:16 PM , Rating: 2
Ok and I'm betting that plant is a 1-3 story building with a very large roof. As is the office where I work. But what do you do when buildings are 10-20-30 stories tall?

And at my office we've slashed our power costs nearly 75% in two years just through better management of the AC system. No solar panels needed.

Also, what makes you think power plants are always running 100%? Many plants have generators for peak usage times that are not running during normal usage hours.

RE: The technical ignorance is staggering
By AssBall on 9/9/2008 11:48:31 AM , Rating: 3
The Corporate Ecoforum as a whole sounds like a bunch of bigwigs coming together to prove that they are some kind of alltruistic force for humanity. Not for actual scientists or engineers to discuss anything useful.

By Amiga500 on 9/9/2008 11:54:33 AM , Rating: 1

The image of Alec Baldwin and the Film Actor's Guild (FAG) in Team America keeps popping into my mind

By retrospooty on 9/9/2008 11:49:06 AM , Rating: 3
Yup... I want the US to use 100% alt. energy by 2010... There, I upped Google and put an equal amount of realistic planning into it.

By yacoub on 9/9/2008 11:49:15 AM , Rating: 2
not to mention it'd no longer be "alternative energy" if it's the mainstream energy. :D

So much negativity here.
By PAPutzback on 9/9/2008 12:24:36 PM , Rating: 1
I am glad you guys aren't the scientists behind the future technology. Someone says google is just throwing words around. But the first few paragraphs cover the amount of money Google has given to fund research.

I remember my first calculator was huge and had to be plugged in. Eventually they got them off the cord and down to the size of a credit card. Do most of you honestly believe that the there won't be future advances in technology to improve the efficiency of circuits, batteries and natural resource reclamation and conversion. Do you not follow Dailytech articles from day to day. Every day there seems to be an article on energy technology. Just take the power savings from a CPU die reduction, or the fact that in five years or less we'll be moving our power hungry mechanical drives to SSD drives, light bulbs to CFLs and then LEDs. The power savings in those few technologies themselves are huge.

I'll have to save this page in bring it back up in five years once Google is off the public energy grid and you are eating watermelons grown in the Sahara desert under the massive solar grids that will be installed there.

RE: So much negativity here.
By steven975 on 9/9/2008 12:34:38 PM , Rating: 2
keyword being massive.

even if magically solar reached 100% efficiency, problem is the availability is limited to 20% unless you put big mirrors in space for constant daylight. You think that MIGHT change climate?

Wind is the same way...availability limited. Coastal wave stations do nothing for the inland, and again, availability is a concern.

These are small-scale solutions that work in certain applications. To reach our power needs that may eventually reach into the terawatts, neither of these technologies cut it. You need something with massive output and near-100% availability.

Dare I say nuclear is the only tech that offers it today? Tomorrow we may have fusion, but given research in that has dried up, it's not likely.

RE: So much negativity here.
By walk2k on 9/9/2008 12:48:42 PM , Rating: 2
No kidding. It's exactly negativity like this that has GOTTEN us into this mess!

If we had been agressively persuing alternative energy 20-30 years ago LIKE WE SHOULD HAVE BEEN a lot of these technologies would be cheap enough NOW to replace petroleum and coal NOW.

Google is RIGHT ON, the government (funded by generous contributions from the oil industry of course) has UTTERLY FAILED.

RE: So much negativity here.
By Solandri on 9/9/2008 2:32:32 PM , Rating: 3
Japan started R&D in HDTVs about a decade before the U.S. did. They realized standard definition TVs had insufficient resolution for future applications, and that they'd eventually be replaced by higher resolution screens. So they poured hundreds of billions of dollars into developing these HDTVs. They had seen the future, and they were going to make sure Japan was at the forefront. And by the mid-1990s, they were the world's leader. They had HDTVs, they had an HDTV broadcast standard, they had HD cameras. All that needed to happen was for sales to pick up and drive the price down to where it could all be widely adopted.

Then a funny thing happened. The price of digital signal processors had been coming down all this time. When Japan started its HDTV program, DSPs were ridiculously expensive. So Japan's entire HDTV standard was based on analog technology. By the late '90s, the price of DSPs had dropped so much that even a video card that could generate 3D images in real time was feasible. The U.S. electronics industry grasped this, and in less than 3 years they'd come up with a digital HDTV standard which was better, clearer, cheaper, and took less bandwidth than Japan's could ever hope. Within 2 years, Japan abandoned what it had worked on and adopted the U.S. standards.

Faster is not always better. What's important are measured, careful steps which take into account trends and expected advancements in technology. If we had been aggressively pursing alternative energy 20-30 years ago, solar energy (which relies on silicon-based photovoltaics) would've missed all the benefits in silicon manufacturing produced by the computer revolution. Wind energy would've been built entirely of expensive steel and concrete, instead of benefiting from the revolution in fiberglass and graphite composites.

RE: So much negativity here.
By Solandri on 9/9/2008 2:14:29 PM , Rating: 3
There is negativity, and there is irrational exuberance. The huge, expensive calculator you used to use might have been worthwhile if you were an engineer. But would you have recommended every family buy one so stay-at-home moms balancing their checkbooks wouldn't have to do the arithmetic by hand? It probably would have destroyed their budget to such an extent that balancing their checkbook would've been a moot point.

Technology is always improving and becoming cheaper. There is no need to rush into one prematurely - you will just end up wasting a lot of money unnecessarily. You have to strike a balance. If you jump into alternatives too slowly, there is insufficient money to drive their development. If you jump into them too quickly, its additional expense depresses the economy as a whole, thus reducing the overall money available for everything, including spending on improving alternatives.

You have to strike a well thought out balance between the two in order to maximize the rate of development of alternative energies. Setting goals based on numbers picked arbitrarily because they are multiples of ten seems like a really irresponsible way to accomplish this.

RE: So much negativity here.
By v3rt1g0 on 9/9/2008 3:15:26 PM , Rating: 3
Do most of you honestly believe that the there won't be future advances in technology to improve the efficiency of circuits

Your keyword there is future.
Pushing wind and solar right now , over proven technology such as nuclear, is foolish. Will wind, solar, etc, etc be more effcient, and more able to compete with nuclear one day? Yes, of course.

Pushing these high cost alternative energy sources right now is only hurting the US, and for all the wrong reasons.

By onelittleindian on 9/9/2008 11:50:45 AM , Rating: 2
Is this some kind of joke? Google should stick to something it knows a little bit about.

RE: Stupid
By FITCamaro on 9/9/2008 12:23:51 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously. I mean cmon. This statement here:

He suggests plug-ins charge at night, then by day put their power back into the grid when unused, forming a sort of battery network.

WTF? So they think everyone should charge your car at night (which solar doesn't work) and then everyone who isn't using their car has it act as a battery during the day (when solar does work) by allowing it to be discharged? The grid and your battery would be better off by not charging it. Which eliminates the point of having the battery.

Was there a lot of weed at this meeting?

RE: Stupid
By bobsmith1492 on 9/9/2008 2:06:51 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention your car may be discharged if you wanted to go anywhere during the day.

RE: Stupid
By FITCamaro on 9/9/2008 2:34:15 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Basically he's saying we should use our cars as giant, expensive, rechargeable batteries.

RE: Stupid
By Doormat on 9/9/2008 5:13:02 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a big green energy proponent and even I think V2G technology is the dumbest thing I've heard in the sector.

Solar is cost effective now
By redsquid5 on 9/9/2008 2:39:50 PM , Rating: 5
I recently got involved in a $1M solar installation on a organic foods plant, and the subsidies are quite nice, but even without any, the costs worked out.
Anybody who knows anything about power usage would know that solar produces peak power at the time of peak demand, particularly in a sunny area like California. The plant pays peak electrical rates of about $.40 a kilowatt at peak summer times. Its called Time-Of-Use rates; the utility really nails you for power used when the generation costs are at the highest. (My home is on a TOU meter also, that maxes out at $.53 per KWH !)
The solar installation cost about $7.00 a watt, near typical costs. The plant gets about 2 KWH per year out of that. The $7.00 amortized over 30 years at 6% is about $.42/year, or $.21 per KWH. The installation is sized to just eliminate the peak usage, about 30% of the plants total power requirements; (off peak rates are about $.09, so it did not make sense to over produce)
The really big benefit here is that we KNOW what the power costs will be for our peak usage for the future. You cannot imagine how important for strategic planning it is to know that some carbon based fuel spike won't destroy your profitability in a few years. After the ENRON and deregulation fiasco, this is simply smart planning. I think Schmidt is a hell of a lot smarter than some folks who have nothing to do but post here...

RE: Solar is cost effective now
By FITCamaro on 9/9/2008 4:26:31 PM , Rating: 2
There is a big difference between supplementing a sites power with solar panels so that you don't have to buy power from the grid during peak usage and powering an entire nation off it.

That is what those of us who are against solar power are against. I have no issue with people who wish to put solar panels on their home or business(I don't think they should get subsidies though). But trying to power a nations energy grid off a variable availability energy source that costs many times more than more conventional power sources makes no sense. You yourself admit that the grid powered by things like coal, gas, and nuclear provides far cheaper power than solar in off peak times.

RE: Solar is cost effective now
By redsquid5 on 9/10/2008 3:32:23 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, only the amortized current sources have lower costs than solar. New power must pay for both construction and fuel, with I would say inevitable higher fuel costs. It is easy to see that fuel and production costs could completely overwhelm an initial construction cost advantage.
And I happen to work at a plant that produces semiconductor manufacturing equipment; during the um, twenty plus years I've been in this industry we have reduced the cost of producing electronic circuitry a bit...
My fellow employees have been leaving my company in droves, and they are all going to startups in solar technology. It seems every one of them is being hired by someone with technology that will reduce the cost of a watt by half, each targeting some aspect. One will do high throughput production equipment, one targets the substrate, silicon is very expensive. Another targets panel efficiency, far too much of the spectrum is lost. Another will do solar tracking, another cheap lens technology, yet another has cheap power converters, another will be shingle replacements for integration into the roof.
This is just for solar, I have only a slight clue for the improvements possible for geothermal, wind, tidal, etc.
> In addition, the beauty of the alternative technologies is that lowered fuel demand will delay the cost increases in fossil fuels, lowering cost for existing production. Building more coal or gas plants will increase demand and increase costs for existing production.

By aldo222 on 9/9/2008 12:15:47 PM , Rating: 2
I don't understand the defensiveness against companies trying to reduce pollution and energy dependency. If we went greener and global warming turns out to be false, we'll still save many lives from respiratory problems related to pollution not to mention from oil-related wars, to my perspective Google's approach its a win-win situation, and besides, if they fail it's their money.

RE: defensiveness
By steven975 on 9/9/2008 12:42:31 PM , Rating: 2
no rational people see anything wrong with conservation.

When it becomes a public policy based on possibly flawed scientific data, it becomes a problem to me.

And, yes, it's google's money. If I were a shareholder, though, I'd have a problem as the ROI would be higher elsewhere. But google shareholders have no problem paying 600x earnings, so economics isn't their strong point.

RE: defensiveness
By JustTom on 9/10/2008 1:14:22 PM , Rating: 2
I don't care what Google does with its own energy use. What bothers me is their hubris in thinking they could possibly have any real deep insight on future energy markets. The article is not Google wishes to be 100% Alternative Energy it is Google wants U.S. to 100% Alternative Energy. I don't recall voting for Google for president and frankly I don't give a damn what they want for the national energy market.

More campaigning for leftist candidates
By phxfreddy on 9/9/2008 12:31:00 PM , Rating: 2
Here is the simple logic

-a- by 2030 there is no way we will still be using sizable amounts of oil. It will simply be too expensive by then and the tech while not here yet will be here by 2030

-b- they support lefties

-c- if they were so concerned why did they get that flying winebago 767 Boeing that sucks up Jet A Kerosene at fantabulous rates? Yet they still have the audacity to run round pointing fingers at politicians saying "you're are not doing enough!" ... When they do that you should hear the following: YOU ARE NOT DOING ENOUGH TO MAKE THE LITTLE PEOPLE USE LESS....WE KINGS WILL USE WHAT WE WANT.

Thus I can only conclude this announcement is timed to support Zero-Bama as 2030 is a ridiculously far off for any sort of business projections.

RE: More campaigning for leftist candidates
By steven975 on 9/9/2008 12:39:51 PM , Rating: 2
well, they can buy "carbon credits" to offset their use!

Never mind that carbon credit is a completely made-up product and there's no legal requirement for someone selling them to actually do anything with the money other than pocket it.

How do you think Al Gore makes money...selling carbon credits of course. When criticized about his energy use, he'll mention his carbon credits and how they negate his usage...never mind that he buys them from himself. He may plant a few trees with the $$, but don't think he's not putting it in his pocket, either.

By phxfreddy on 9/9/2008 12:52:58 PM , Rating: 2
I want to know how I get upgraded to king status so I can stop worrying about the jacked up policies that will come from the Church of MMGW.

By cupocoffee on 9/9/2008 1:47:05 PM , Rating: 2
We use too much wind energy - Don't we potentially shift wind patterns that could affect our climate?

We use too much water based energy - Don't we potentially shift streaming patterns that could affect our climate?

We use too much geothermal energy - Don't we potentially cool the Earth's core and weaken our magnetic field (ie: become like mars)?

Of course, you'd have to use a lot of energy in any one of these places to do any damage, but is anyone looking into the long term environmental effects of these "green" technologies?

By BigPeen on 9/9/2008 4:14:02 PM , Rating: 2
Thank god. Someone else understand you don't get something for nothing.....ever (except with fusion maybe). P.S. why aren't people talking about fusion more anyways? Have people lost sight of the fact that we've made huge advances in that field in the past few decades. If we master that we have all engery problems solved period.

By robinthakur on 9/10/2008 5:30:45 AM , Rating: 2
Have you been reading Greenpeace's draft manifesto from the future? Perhaps we should focus on just utterly destroying the natural wind patterns as that seems *far* less important than destabilising the planets magnetic field.

At the end off the day, if you're looking for a zero-impact solution you won't find one as it doesn't exist. Apart from Solar, and that's not really viable unless you mandate that every surface be coated in Photo-Voltaic cells and hook it into a big "p2p" national grid where every body uploads energy when they aren't using it for other people. A crazy scheme...Maybe I should form a start up. All inspired by Folding at Home, but don't tell Sony :)

Here's an idea...
By joemoedee on 9/9/2008 11:47:07 AM , Rating: 3
Instead of "saving the world" how about getting rid of the link farm webpages that inundate a Google search?

RE: Here's an idea...
By Solandri on 9/9/2008 8:25:40 PM , Rating: 2
There's a link at the bottom of all your Google searches which says "Dissatisfied? Help us improve." Just click on that and report the link farm. I've found they're pretty good about cleaning their search results over time, but you have to tell them that you ran into a link farm. They don't have anywhere near enough employees to do it all themselves.

Where are they?
By dreddly on 9/9/2008 12:03:40 PM , Rating: 1
I expected the rabid pro-nuclear contingent on these boards to be all over google's rejection of nuclear as a viable option.

Clean energy with scalable investment strategies seem more practical than expecting a radical transformation of the entire energy grid.

RE: Where are they?
By steven975 on 9/9/2008 12:06:49 PM , Rating: 2
problem is not one of their proposed "solutions" has a high availability factor.

Also, I'm not sure how a reactor with a physical switch for control rods and someone actually watching them is vulnerable to online attack.

RE: Where are they?
By FITCamaro on 9/9/2008 3:48:55 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe they seem to think nuclear plants are run by a Windows, OSX, or Linux box that is actually hooked up to the internet.

And it's not like nuclear plants are protected by just 2 rent a cops sitting in a booth. I got a friend who's a nuclear engineer and has worked in them.

Monetary System
By NeoConned08 on 9/9/2008 3:49:39 PM , Rating: 2
The whole problem with switching to a different form of energy is that the US Dollar, which is the world reserve currency, and used as a backing for the rest of the world's currencies, is predominantly itself backed by sales of petroleum on the open market. Petroleum is only sold in dollars and the US has shown an aggressive stance in maintaining Dollar Hegemony.

Iraq was foolish enough to sell its petrol in Euros, and Iran has created an oil bourse that will start selling their petroleum in Euros. For now it's only dealing in petro chemical products/futures in their local currency.

So, the big problem with switching to alternate fuel sources is that we will have to transfer the entire global monetary system over with it, and many countries just aren't going to go along with that. The US has been a very poor steward of its responsibility as World Reserve Currency holder and many are ready to see a transition away from the Dollar as being the sole reserve currency. Unfortunately for the U.S. it means they will have to give up their empire.

RE: Monetary System
By Solandri on 9/10/2008 5:58:12 AM , Rating: 2
The dollar is the world's reserve currency because the U.S. economy accounts for 25% of the world's economy. With a large economy comes stability, so the dollar became safe as a reserve currency because it was stable. It's got nothing to do with oil.

Until the Euro, no other single currency represented such a large fraction of the world's economy (the next biggest was the Japanese Yen at 8%). The Euro now accounts for 20%-26% of the world's economy, so it's becoming a viable alternative to the dollar (there are some tensions between EU countries over their shared currency, so it doesn't have quite the trust that the dollar has yet).

The dollar is going to become less important in the next decades simply because more countries are becoming developed. The U.S. share of world GDP used to be as high as 50% right after WWII. It's slowly been declining as the rest of the world's economies shifted from third world to first world.

By gdongarra on 9/9/2008 4:00:04 PM , Rating: 2
When faced with a situation that we are powerless to resolve, we can have hope. We can hope someone is brave enough to try. We can hope that someone is willing to risk failure. We can hope we are worth the effort. Some of you have already decided that since you can't see the solution that all attempts to get there will be futile. I will hope someone changes your mind.

RE: Hope...
By OoklaTheMok on 9/9/2008 7:10:10 PM , Rating: 2
It's the difference between someone stuck looking in the box for an answer vs. someone who looks outside the box.

It's the confinement of the box that has gotten us to where we are today.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. -Albert Einstein

Google and energy conservation
By rrrustee on 9/9/2008 4:41:04 PM , Rating: 2
I liked the article, and have to agree that one of the greatest opportunities for the near future lies in energy conservation, involving reengineering energy inefficiencies into cost savings. Critics of this article are going to be many, and you have to ask: what are the qualifications to be one? Have you ever seen a statue erected to a critic? They know the price of everything, but the value of nothing. Not many can remember back to the early 1960's when President JFK declared that by the end of the decade, we'd send a man to the moon and return him home safely. We need such national agendas to get important things done! That's the essence of leadership: define the mission, and then step out of the way and let the rest of us accomplish it.

RE: Google and energy conservation
By bobny1 on 9/10/2008 7:46:25 AM , Rating: 2
Absolutely!. Google is in the financial position to bypass the Government red tape and be creative. i totally agree with the idea of stimulating the future and give small fish a chance. the government will for ever benefit with tax brake the big oil companies crushing everyone who dare otherwise.

Gigawatt tastes on a Kilowatt budget
By steven975 on 9/9/2008 12:03:13 PM , Rating: 1
I notice nuclear wasn't mentioned at all. Nuclear is our bridge to fusion.

By steven975 on 9/9/2008 12:04:31 PM , Rating: 2
I mean, mentioned in a positive way.

I don't know how a reactor with a physical switch to pop in control rods is vulnerable to an online attack, but they're the internet experts right?

By jpcesar on 9/9/2008 12:04:54 PM , Rating: 1
BTW is DT affiliated with GM ? every article serves as an excuse to mention Chevy Volt and the coverage around volt seems a lot premeditated... dunno why.

RE: gm
By v3rt1g0 on 9/9/2008 3:27:23 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think it has anything to do with the fact that it's a plug-in hybrid that gets around 40 miles per charge, and was kinda sexy looking. ...Wait.

By RossD on 9/9/2008 1:01:00 PM , Rating: 2
Once the Google Lunar X Prize competitors build their businesses, I think we may start to see a couple of them putting solar collector arrays on the moon and transmitting power via microwaves down to floating Google receiver stations.

By totallycool on 9/9/2008 1:46:40 PM , Rating: 2
The only reason google is drumming this up is to get tax breaks from the goverment

He argues that one key is for the government to provide tax breaks to energy efficient businesses.

They have already invested large amounts money into going green. Thus by pulling more companies onboard with them, and making a lot of noise about going green, They are suggesting/lobbying the goverment for tax breaks.

The math does add up if you look from this perspective. Less tax = more profits = higher stock price, and everyones happy.

Geothermal power
By NT78stonewobble on 9/11/2008 5:35:16 AM , Rating: 2
Now this is where I would like to see some more investment and research.

Relatively real estate efficient and possible to scale up power output. In many place you don't even have to drill that far down.

Now if only we could guarantee that they don't cause earthquakes ;).

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