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Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) demonstrated once again that it's not shy about throwing its weight around in non-core business areas while melding business and social policy aspirations, announcing on Tuesday that the company and its philanthropic arm, Google.org, will launch a renewable energy venture.

The company announced a strategic initiative, called RE

Google will draw on its own experience in building large-scale, energy-intensive facilities that it has honed in building its distributed data centers. Co-founder and president of products Larry Page said that experience will allow it to develop alternative-energy sources at costs that are favorable to coal-fired generation. Google also has direct experience in operating a 1.6 megawatt solar panel installation that provides power to its corporate campus.

"Promising technologies already exist that could be developed to deliver renewable energy cheaper than coal," Page wrote in a post on Google's corporate blog. "We think the time is ripe to build rapidly on the tremendous work on renewable energy.

The search giant has set a goal of producing one gigawatt of energy through various projects, and to achieve that within a few years. That number is significant, as it represents about one-fifth of the total power used by servers and associated equipment, as reported by ars technica.

RE

Google.org is already working with eSolar Inc., an Idealab Inc.-backed company that is developing power plant-scale solar technology, and Makani Power Inc., a high-altitude wind energy company.

See Nov. 27 press release from Google

See Nov. 27 post from Larry Page

See February 15 post from ars technica

Source: Google Muscles in on Alternative Energy