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Google Takes leadership role in renewable energy

The search engine giant (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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,

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

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.