Google’s Green Investments
They always seem to be in the news lately with the acquisition of this or takeover of that, and there is no denying that Google seems to re-invest a lot of its (admittedly significant) profit. However, you might be surprised by some of the things they invest in as well as technology companies. Here is a quick run down of some of the more interesting recent purchases:
1. Wind Farms – Google very recently announced they had agreed a 20 year deal with NextEra Energy Sources, a wind power company in Iowa, to purchase 114 megawatts. Google have long stated that they want to become a carbon neutral company, however, instead of using the power themselves they are re-selling it to the regional grid. Ok, so that guarantees the use of that much renewable energy and the continuation of the company, but why not use it yourself?
2. Geothermal – Reports say that Google has invested $10m in three Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) projects, in order to better harness the power beneath the earth’s surface. It was split as follows; $4 million to Potter Drilling, $6.25 to Alta Rock Energy, Inc. and another $489,521 to Southern Methodist University Geothermal Lab in order to advance technology and update geothermal mapping across the Unites States.
3. Hybrids – At their Mountain View offices they have been running Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEV) for their employees for nearly three years now, in order to reduce CO2 emissions and oil consumption. These new types of hybrid petrol/electric vehicles can reach up to 115mpg, roughly 6 times more efficient than the average American car.
4. Lunar X Prize – Part of a larger series of ‘X-Competitions’ (not all sponsored by Google), Lunar X is ‘a $30 million competition for the first privately funded team to send a robot to the moon, travel 500 meters and transmit video, images and data back to the Earth.’ With a hefty prize fund of $30m, needless to say there are more than 10 teams feverishly working away right now, with ‘SpaceX Team’ performing a test firing in March 2010.
5. Google Ventures – To honour Google’s ‘entrepreneurial roots’, the venture capital arm of Google was set up in March 2009. With a simple message of finding outstanding start-up companies and investing in them (with the end of making money from them obviously), Google Ventures has invested in companies such as EnglishCentral, VigLink, Silver Spring Networks, Pixazza and OpenCandy.
Rob is our head of photography, specialising in architectural and music photography. He’s also a search engine optimisation engineer, often helps out with our digital marketing and loves graphic design.