Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Alternative Energy Funding

Lately, as I read articles about the cost of fuel, the anticipated rise in the cost of fuel, and where the global economy is headed (greater competition for declining reserves of natural fuels), I wonder to myself "Why is it not more often the case that the Bill Gates of the world get behind technology-push initiatives.

For example, the electric plug-in vehicle that I just blogged about, the Volt, may be deployed on America's highways by as early as 2013. But that will only be possible with further advances in battery technology. Will GM be able to keep battery development on track? It's a matter of funding for research and development, and whether or not the company will have the money available, meaning the car could arrive in 2013, or ten years later. Throw enough money into the R&D equation, however, and it will get here faster. Thus, the utilitarian need for venture capitalists with vision, not just for automobile battery development, but developing a wide arry alternative energy technology.

Enter Google. According to the article linked below, the search engine plans to pour hundreds of millions into solar energy development with the goals of A) meeting its own power consumption needs, B) licensing this technology to others, and C) reducing the cost of solar to make it a more viable alternative.

Interestingly enough, the article states that the company's founders have long had an interest in...electric vehicles.

Google goes Solar

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