Did you know that Google
Google's famous "don't be evil" mantra really comes to life when you consider the considerable work Big G is doing to run its business with minimal damage to the environment. It takes a lot of power to run Google's enormous computing resources -- the Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View, CA, consumes about 22 megawatt-hours of electric power every day, which is enough to power more than 3,000 typical Californian homes.
And Google is doing its part to avoid rolling brownouts. The headquarters gets 30% of that massive power supply from over 9,000 solar panels installed on the roof. That's great -- but Google wants better, cheaper, and more efficient solar power. At the Reuters Global Climate and Alternative Energy Summit this week, Google's green energy chief Bill Weihl detailed what Google is doing for solar energy.
"We've been looking at very unusual materials for the mirrors both for the reflective surface as well as the substrate that the mirror is mounted on," he said. The idea is to cut the cost of generating solar power to standard commercial rates, and the company is betting that large arrays of reflectors that drive steam turbines could get there within two or three years -- at a commercial scale.
I don't expect Google to become a direct rival to SunPower
Google isn't the only IT giant with an environmental conscience, of course -- but it's taking green thinking to whole new levels. Microsoft
The commitment to a healthy environment doesn't stop there. Google sponsors the development of electric cars, cools its data centers with recycled water, and lots more besides. The "don't be evil" thinking starts at the grassroots level -- quite literally. I honestly believe that this thinking permeates the entire company and is a tangible business advantage.
Does Google truly care about you, me, and coming generations -- or am I drinking too much of Big G's Kool-Aid? Make your opinion known in the comments box below.
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Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings or a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.