Google.org is working with two companies that have promising scalable energy technologies:
eSolar Inc., a Pasadena, CA-based company specializing in solar thermal power which replaces the fuel in a traditional power plant with heat produced from solar energy. eSolar's technology has great potential to produce utility-scale power cheaper than coal.
Makani Power Inc., an Alameda, CA-based company developing high-altitude wind energy extraction technologies aimed at harnessing the most powerful wind resources. High-altitude wind energy has the potential to satisfy a significant portion of current global electricity needs.
"Our goal is to produce one gigawatt of renewable energy capacity that is cheaper than coal. We are optimistic this can be done in years, not decades," Larry Page, Google's co-founder and president of products, said in a statement.
Working with its philanthropic arm Google.org, the company said it plans to spend tens of millions of dollars in 2008 on research and development and related efforts in renewable energy.
Eventually, the Mountain View, California-based company said it will spend hundreds of millions of dollars in "breakthrough renewable energy projects which generate positive returns."