Re<C: Wrong answer for Google

November 29, 2011 by Amy
Filed under: Archive, New Energy Economy 

Just as I finally learned what “Re<C” means, Google is abandoning its financially unsustainable project. The acronym stands for Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal. No wonder I didn’t know what it meant. The equation is all wrong.

Paul Chesser, an associate fellow for the National Legal and Policy Center, reports that Google came face to face with the hard economic reality of its solar paradise and green jobs fantasy but:

not before the company poured more than $850 million into renewable energy ventures. That included a $168 million investment in BrightSource Energy’s first large-scale solar project – the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System – which is under construction in California’s Mojave Desert.

Like other solar investors, such as Goldman Sachs and Pat Stryker’s Bohemian Companies with access to billions of private investment dollars, “Google expected taxpayers to bear the burden of a $1.6 billion loan guarantee by the Department of Energy for Ivanpah.”

Google also found out that the “clean” solar technology isn’t all the eco-friendly. In fact, a recent study reports that Google’s Ivanpah would have a catastrophic affect on the desert tortoise, including “90 percent of non-adult tortoises…killed per year, with 3,000 total to be disturbed and 3,344 acres of habitat permanently destroyed.”

Chesser concludes, “Google has determined its efforts to make renewable energy ‘cheaper than coal’ no longer make ‘business sense’ – even generous protections of billions of dollars in taxpayer loan guarantees cannot make it work.”

Reality bites. Read Chesser’s whole post.

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