Renewable energy, for less than the price of burning coal

That, at least, is the aim of the philanthropic arm of google — google.org.

And two weeks ago they met with President Obama, announcing that this dream had gone from being “a long shot” to “even odds more or less”.

Chief Executive Eric Schmidt told a news conference afterwards that “In three years, we could have multiple megawatts of plants out there.”

Google engineers are looking at geothermal and wind, but most are focusing on solar thermal, in which the sun’s energy is used to heat up a substance that produces steam to turn a turbine and generate electricity. In other words, a more efficient version of using mirrors in the desert.

Coal is plentiful and cheap in the United States and China, making it a crucial source of both power and the carbon dioxide that produces global warming. So producing carbon-free energy for less than the price of coal is seen as a yardstick for the renewable energy industry’s success.

For more information about Google’s “Renewable Energy cheaper than coal” or RE<C project, click here:  http://www.google.org/rec.html

Source: Reuters

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