Friday, October 17, 2008
Interview With Google's Chief Environmental Policy
The International Herald Tribune interviews Dan Reicher, Google's Chief of Environmental Policy.
Recently Google and General Electric forged a pact to push for an upgraded U.S. electricity grid and Google presented a $4.4 trillion plan to wean the United States off coal and oil by 2030. (21st Century Electricity System)
The deal combines each company's strengths:
GE will make the hardware -- from wind turbines to metering switches, and Google will make the software -- applying network technologies to the grid.
We're interested in the whole spectrum, from grants for energy research, to "valley of death" ventures, to scaling up projects, to standard commercial investments.
We focus on solar thermal, advanced geothermal and wind energies, plus the "enablers," such as transmission and distribution.
In transit, we're focused on electric vehicles and the enabling infrastructure. That includes batteries, smart grids and applications to monitor and bill folks who plug in
Our focus is on transmission and the "smart grid" and the policy around both areas. The U.S. grid is seriously inadequate. Much of it dates from the '50s and '60s. We need to build a bigger and smarter grid to get renewable energy to big cities and for millions of vehicles to plug into the grid.