THE GOOGLE NEW ENERGY PLAN
"A crisis is a terrible thing to waste."
With that observation, Google CEO Eric Schmidt went on to explain why Google isn’t going to let the current climate and economic crises pass unexploited.
Google has definitely walked the walk with huge New Energy investments. (See GOOGLE’S $10 MIL TO ESOLAR POWER PLANTS and GOOGLE GOES GAA-GAA FOR NEW ENERGY)
Schmidt wants the U.S. to similarly take advantage of the moment: "This is the largest opportunity that I could possibly imagine…"
In a recent talk to corporate leaders, Schmidt proposed a 20-year, $2.7 trillion plan to "retool the energy infrastructure…" The plan follows Al Gore’s lead in calling for a 100% shift to New Energy for electricity generation, though the Google plan extends 20 years, twice as long as the 10 years Gore allowed. The plan calls for a price for emissions, possibly the politically controversial “carbon tax.”
Schmidt and his Google team see the money coming back in big revenues from job creation and energy savings. That it would likely deliver the planet from the ravages of global climate change and provide the U.S. with vital energy supply security are just added benefits to the soundness of the plan’s economic fundamentals.
It was put together by a small Google team over the preceding weekend. Schmidt acknowledged the plan is a work in progress and makes assumptions open to challenge. It is simply an effort to craft a national New Energy policy, something national political leaders have, in Schmidt’s formulation, totally failed to do.
Schmidt: "...at least we've come up with a plan…Where's yours?"
Schmidt’s presentation. It’s 45+ minutes but it’s cheaper than attending the Corporate EcoForum. From Google via YouTube.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt offers energy plan
Matt Nauman, September 9, 2008 (San Jose Mercury News)
Google’s plan to save the earth
Andrew S. Ross, September 9, 2008 (San Francisco Chronicle)
Eric Schmidt, Chairman/CEO, Google Inc.
Schmidt used a talk at the Corporate EcoForum to describe the current world situation (a three-part problem: over-reliance on oil, often foreign. a floundering economy in need of a new jobs and global climate change) and his ideas about what to do (a two-part solution: generate all electricity from New Energy within 20 years and eliminate half of all oil-burning cars).
Google walks the walk: It put up $10 mil to develop the eSolar power plant concept. (click to enlarge)
- The Corporate EcoForum was September 8-9, 2008, and Schmidt’s talk was the 8th.
- 20 years: The time span for Schmidt plan allows to move to 100% new Energy driving the U.S. grid and removing half the country’s gas-burning cars from the roads.
The Corporate EcoForum was at the Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, CA.
- Schmidt’s presentation began with visuals from Google Earth illustrating the effects of global climate change around the world and where and how government policies are favorably affecting or failing to affect it. He concluded that no one is doing enough
- The cost of Schmidt’s program: $2.7 trillion
- Schmidt said New Energy is presently as reliable and nearly cost-competitive with coal and natural gas plants.
- There is an opportunity for IT community in promoting energy-efficiency and smartening the grid. Ex: PHEVSs and V2G technology; Ex: Smart appliances and smart homes; Ex: Floating data centers)
- Schmidt says nuclear is not part of the New Energy future because of high capital costs and security concerns.
- Corporate EcoForum: A 2-day conference for sustainability execs from 100+ companies (Ex: GM, Oracle, Clorox,Sony).
Google is designing floating data centers to be run on wave energy. (click to enlarge)
Eric Schmidt, Chairman/CEO, Google Inc.: "There's a total failure of political leadership, at least in the United States, if not in the world…"