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Published on March 3rd, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan


Google Busting Out Breakthrough Solar Thermal Technology in 1-3 Years?

March 3rd, 2010 by  

Google “green czar” Bill Weihl has just reported that if all things go as planned, we could see Google rolling out breakthrough solar thermal technology within 1-3 years.

Google’s new concentrated solar technology, he says, would cut the cost of solar thermal power systems in half — a good step towards Google’s overall goal of making renewable energy cheaper than coal.


“The project is focused on reducing the cost of the heliostats, the fields of mirrors that track the sun and concentrate its power on a point so that it can be used to create steam and drive a turbine. Google has reportedly developed new materials for the mirror’s reflective surface and the substrate on which the mirror is mounted,” Rachel Fielding of Business Green reports.

According to Weil, the technology is not ready for external testing yet, but eSolar and BrightSource are already interested in the technology. If development and testing continue to go well, we could see it being mass-produced as early as 2011 (or at the latest 2013).

Google is moving forward fast with its clean energy plans. It has already gotten into the utility business (legally, but not commercially). And it has invested over $45 million in clean energy since 2007 when it announced its Develop Renewable Cheaper than Coal (RE<C) initiative.

Could we see Google Solar or Google Electric Co. in our communities in a few years’ time?

For much more information on how Google’s clean energy work is organized and what kinds of things they are looking at, read the New York Times‘ January interview with Bill Weihl or visit Google.org.

Image Credit: thaths via flickr under a CC license 

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

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