Google Engineers give up on renewables fixing the climate (but they still miss the point)

Today’s renewable energy technologies won’t save us. So what will?“

Two engineers who worked on the Google RE<C project admit with candour that they used to think that renewable technologies could help prevent climate change, but they now know that was wrong, saying “Today’s renewable energy technologies won’t save us. So what will?” The brutal answer eventually is “we don’t know”. The RE<C project started in 2007 and was buried in 2011. Google invested $850 million in clean energy. (For a tiny $100,000 I could have saved Google $850 million dollars. If they only asked skeptics instead of Al Gore…)

Ross Koningstein & David Fork admit with admirable honesty that their assumptions about renewables were wrong. But they still haven’t realized their assumptions about climate models are wrong too. Next year perhaps?

Most of their article is about the engineering hurdles of dispatchable and distributed energy. But they also talk about the Google time management philosophy, their 70-20-10 rule (70% core work, 20% cutting edge but viable, 10% “crazy” possibilities). What they don’t seem to realize 70:20:10 is pointless if 100% of their time is spent solving a problem that doesn’t exist. The Google innovation approach is a pot-luck dip. […]

Google — the bird killing green rent seekers

This week the Chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, called people who oppose green energy subsidies “liars”.

Mr. Schmidt said: “And the people who oppose it (climate change) are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place. And so we should not be aligned with such people—they’re just, they’re just literally lying.”

Meanwhile, Google uses mostly non-renewable fuel to power its operations, but has “pledged $1.5billion” to fund renewables. It has invested millions into solar panel plants that are “bird-fryers” — literally roasting birds in the sky. These investments mostly occur in states with renewable-mandates, would not survive without taxpayer funding, qualify for tax credits, and require infrastructure (like transmission lines) that electricity consumers or governments have to fund.

Wall St Journal

Google Kills Birds The mercenary motives behind Eric Schmidt’s appeal to green virtue.

“The real charlatans are businesses like Google that use climate change as a pretext for corporate welfare.”

… nearly all of Google’s solar and wind farms are located in states with renewable-energy mandates, which create opportunities for politically mediated profit-making. For instance, California requires that renewables make up a third of electricity by […]