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Google Renewable Energy Cost Reduction Initiatives Being Shuttered

Google heliostat prototype

Google has announced it will be shutting down its research initiative and equity investing focus on lowering the cost of renewable energy, known as Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal, or RE<C. This initiative was launched back in 2007.

In a blog post announcement, the company noted that “other institutions are better positioned than Google to take this research to the next level.”

For the past 4 years, RE<C has used Google’s resources to innovate clean power technology, with the last two years spent developing its own solar mirrors as a way to lower the costs of solar thermal technology. The company also noted that while it has been working on solar thermal designs, the cost of solar panels has dropped drastically over the past several years.

Google says it will continue to operate clean power on campuses, invest in clean power projects, and investigate ways to create cleaner power for data centers. The company has already invested $850 million in various clean power projects.

Google may be right that clean power initiatives would be better handled by companies where this is their forte, but thankfully they will still be working to create a more environmentally friendly company at the forefront on clean technology. Do you think this was a smart move on Google’s part?

Image: Fully assembled Google prototype heliostat with actuators

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