Google Energy: Power to the public cloud
In case you haven’t noticed, Google is not really just a search engine anymore. It has even gone so far as to become a verb in more than one language. That, in and of itself, is no mean feat.
The Wikipedia entry for Google describes it as a ‘multinational public cloud computing and Internet search technologies corporation’. I don’t know exactly what that means, but ‘public cloud’ gives a pretty good impression of the amorphous brand image that Google has for me: it is one of the number one names in computers and information technology, while remaining just vague enough to get into pretty much any area of business that they want. Email, social networking, Google Books, Google News, whatever.
According to an article from Reuters, Google has recently become licensed by the U.S. Government to market energy – meaning they can legally purchase electricity and sell it to customers. This doesn’t mean that Google is now a power company. Other large companies have done the same thing – including the evil Walmart corporation.
Information technology and telecommunications facilities, such as those that Google own, account for approximately 120 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually — or 3 percent of all U.S. electricity use, according to the Energy Department.
But Google – soft, cuddly, ethical Google – wants to be able to get all of its energy from renewable sources, something it heretofore hasn’t been able to do. That could be a significant move towards cleaner energy in Google’s sector – you know, the ‘multinational public cloud computing’ sector – especially if other IT companies follow suit.
by Graham Land