Google Takes leadership role in renewable energy

The search engine giant has announced that it is planning to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in a bid to make alternatives to fossil fuels cheaper and more readily available.

The project called RECTC (Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal) has already recruited dozens of engineers and could soon gain traction if other tech companies joined in.

eSolar and Makani Power are two organisations that Google has partnered with in a bid to make the project, which is known internally as RE

Initially, Google will concentrate on traditional renewable energy alternatives but doesn't rule out exploring other potential breakthrough technologies - no cold fusion mentioned here.

Google has been in the limelight recently for fostering collaboration across whole industries with the Open Handset Alliance and the Open Social Initiative.

Larry Page, Google's cofounder, wants to bring the price of a gigawatt of renewable energy - enough to power a city the size of San Fransciso) below that of coal and added that Google would be more than willing to share the technology with others.

The project will be overseen by the not-for-profit branch of Google, Google.org

But it will probably take the best part of a decade (or more) for Google's project to come to fruition.