News Briefs

August 11, 2010

Google to invest in alternative energy, cut cost of PVs. Search technology giant Google says it will spend hundreds of millions of dollars to develop renewable energy as part of an ambitious plan to clean up the environment and reduce its own power bill. The company said it will open its pockets to foster innovation in solar, wind, and geothermal technology in the hope of making green energy cheaper than power produced by burning coal. Co-founder Larry Page said if Google reaches its goals the cost of solar power from photovoltaics could be reduced by at least 25%.

New technology jeopardizes Freedom Tower spire. A 408-foot spire that brings the Freedom Tower to its projected height of 1,776 feet could be deemed useless due to new technology for low-power street-level transmitters emerging as an alternative to the broadcast antenna planned for the inside of the spire. Some members of the Metropolitan Television Alliance, which has said it intends to use antennae installed on top of the Freedom Tower, have already been using the low-power, street-level transmitters. A long-term contract with the Metropolitan Television Alliance worth hundreds of millions of dollars would be a key financial component of the $3 billion Freedom Tower project.

Power plants get rankings for CO² emissions. For the first time, the CO² emissions of 50,000 power plants worldwide have been compiled into a massive new database, Carbon Monitoring for Action. The online CARMA database, available at www.carma.com, was compiled by the Center for Global Development, an independent policy and research organization. The database lays out exactly where the CO² emitters are, which companies own the plants, and how much greenhouse gas they are emitting into the atmosphere.

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