Google has announced intentions to take its commitment to eco-friendliness a giant step further this week as the search giant tries to enter the renewable energy industry.
The ambitious project called Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal (RE<C) will explore all the possibilities to make alternative sources of energy a more viable option than fossil fuels to produce electricity. In the process, they want to bring about a reduction in the cost of solar energy to make it cheaper than coal. The power generated from alternative sources will also be used to meet Google’s own ever-growing electrical power requirements.
According to Google co-founder and President of Products Larry Page, the goal of the Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal project is to create at least one gigawatt of renewable energy capacity that is cheaper than coal as quickly as possible.
With an investment of hundreds of millions and plans to hire experts from different fields of renewable energy resources, this venture is also being projected as a philanthropic move. “We do like to take advantage of our noted position to motivate the world and do things that are good,” Brin said during a conference call on Tuesday.
In recent years Google has been trying out its hand at everything from space elevators, to personalised biotech. Now it has turned its attention to churning out renewable energy at a low cost.
The ambitions of the company are definitely noble but the success of the plan and the reaction of investors could be negative, especially because Google has no prior experience in the energy industry.
Even if the entire plan turns out to be extremely successful, Google will probably face a point when it cannot push the venture further without turning away from its core business. In fact, Google might be in danger of stretching itself too thin by investing in too many disparate ventures, especially those that are completely unrelated to Search. This is where the real risk lies in the eyes of share holders.