Google to Invest In Renewable Energy Push

Google said the Web services and online advertising group plans to promote a new initiative to encourage cheap renewable electricity.

The project, known as Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal, will focus initially on advanced solar thermal power, wind power technologies, enhanced geothermal systems and other new technologies.

In 2008, Google plans to spend tens of millions of dollars on research and development and related efforts in renewable energy. Eventually, the company plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in "breakthrough renewable energy projects which generate positive returns.''

It aims to produce renewable energy that is cheaper than coal, the Silicon Valley-based company said in a statement.

Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal is hiring engineers and energy experts to lead its research and development work. It said it will begin on solar thermal technology, and will also investigate enhanced geothermal systems and other areas.