Google also set up
RE < C – an ambitious research project looking at ways to make renewable energy cheaper than coal (unfortunately this project was shelved recently).
And Google set up a company called Google Energy to trade energy on the wholesale market. Google Energy buys renewable energy from renewable producers and when it has an excess over Google’s requirements, it sells this energy and gets Renewable Energy Certificates for it.
All hugely innovative stuff and all instituted under the stewardship of Google’s Green Energy Czar, Bill Weihl (on the right in the photo above).
However Bill, who left Google in November, is now set to start working for Facebook this coming January.
Facebook’s commitment to renewable energy has not been particularly inspiring to-date. They drew criticism for the placement of their Prineville data center because, although it is highly energy efficient, it sources its electricity from PacificCorp, a utility which mines 9.6 million tons of coal every year! Greenpeace mounted a highly visible campaign calling on Facebook to unfriend coal using Facebook’s own platform.