Google Wind Farms
So we've had Google Chrome, Google Buzz, Google Wave, Google Labs, Google Docs, Google Mail and now Google Wind Farms.
OK, not really, that last one we made up, but it might as well be real seeing as Google, the search giant, has invested $38.8 million in a wind farm (approximately £25.3 million). Apparently this is the first time that Google has made a "direct investment in a utility-scale renewable energy project".
It also seems that Google has taken a long time to act in directly investing in clean energy since we reported, way back in 2007, on Google's Renewable Energy Goal. Back then the philanthropic arm of the behemoth, Google.org, was talking up its RE<C project: Renewable Energy cheaper than Coal.
Now considering the carbon footprint of a Google search, which was quoted as being a wild stab between 0.2g and 7g for every search, it's about time Big G did something to clean up its own act. Back in January 2009 there were an estimated 200 million searches daily on the Internet, so if that was all on Google we can only estimate between 40,000 and 1.4 million metric tonnes of carbon emitted daily in the process of powering the machines that power search.
So this investment by Google, albeit late, is very welcome. The wind farm, developed by Next era Energy Resources is purported to develop around 169.5 megawatts of power or enough to power 55,000 homes (Is that American homes or British homes? Remember that per capita electricity consumption in the US is around 1460 watts per person when compared to 667 watts per person in the UK but is an almighty 3152 watts per person in Iceland whilst the world average consumption is 297 watts per person. Source. But that's a whole topic for discussion on another day)
We'd be interested if anybody's done the maths to work out just how many Google rack servers this wind farm in North Carolina will power, so if you have any idea we'd be really pleased to hear from you.