Feeling lucky about Googling towards a wind-driven future

» By | Published 07 May 2010 |

Described as the most often used search engine on the Web, Google is constantly inventing new tricks for the way human beings work, play, research, communicate and learn while making a staggering amount of money for its parent company, Google Inc.

As befitting a company whose unofficial credo is “Don’t be evil,” it came as no surprise to learn that Google has just embraced emissions-free wind energy to further the company’s needs and help save the planet at the same time.

In a Google blog posting earlier this week that was headlined “Not merely tilting at windmills — investing in them too,” the company announced its first direct investment in a utility-scale renewable energy project consisting of two wind farms that generate 169.5 megawatts of power, enough to provide electricity to more than 55,000 homes.

Rick Needham said the North Dakota wind farms that were developed by NextEra Energy Resources will reduce the use of fossil fuels by harnessing the power of wind and delivering clean energy to the region.

“Through this $38.8-million investment, we’re aiming to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy — in a way that makes good business sense, too,” Needham said, adding a clean energy future requires effective policy, innovative technology and smart capital.

Investing in wind power, as Google has just learned, is definitely the opposite of evil and an innovative pathway to a healthier future.


Unlike oil spills, emissions-free offshore wind power doesn’t pollute

» By | Published 04 May 2010 |

Just days after the unfolding oil-related environmental disaster started in the Gulf of Mexico, a number of Democratic lawmakers began lobbying the US government to quickly get involved in approving an offshore wind farm industry.

“Fossil fuels are just not sustainable over the long run for all sorts of reasons,” Rush Holt, a representative from New Jersey, was quoted as saying by AFP.

Holt and three other New Jersey lawmakers were responding to BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill which started after an April 20 explosion killed 11 oil workers,  unleashing at least 200,000 gallons of oil a day into ocean waters now drifting towards Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

Some analysts are saying the Gulf spill — which occurred just weeks after President Barack Obama said he was expanding offshore oil drilling — has the potential of becoming the worst oil disaster in US history and a far greater ecological nightmare that the Exxon Valdez tanker spill that dumped 11 million gallons of crude off Alaska’s shores in 1989.

At a press conference, Holt and the other lawmakers said developing an offshore wind industry can be a viable alternative to drilling for oil in the ocean. “The wind resources are really quite large and over time are much larger than oil resources,” AFP quoted him saying, adding offshore wind power could supply “more than half of the electricity need of the eastern United States.”

Putting the looming disaster into perspective, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman noted Monday that “the gulf blowout is a pointed reminder that the environment won’t take care of itself, that unless carefully watched and regulated, modern technology and industry can all too easily inflict horrific damage on the planet.”

An article in the Observer noted that another oil company, Shell, has noted a steady increase in both hazardous waste and non-hazardous waste. Moreover, the article says that Shell is using a quarter more energy to find and produce each barrel of oil than it did a decade ago.