Google Energy, which is owned by the search engine company Google, got approval Thursday to buy and sell energy on the wholesale market. The company was created and applied for market based rate-authorization in December, and it will be able to start trading energy on February 23.
According to reporting by PC World, Google’s move into the energy market is a strategy to help provide power to the electricity-hungry buildings that house its search engine, advertising network, email software, and all the other things Google does that require large groups of computers.
Google has also made a pledge to be carbon neutral, so being able to buy and sell energy will help it incorporate greener energy into its operations, the article said.
Google, and computing in general, has come under fire recently for not being very green in an article by the UK paper The Times. A Harvard physicist is working on research into the environmental impact of computing, and estimates that an average Google search generates 7 grams (0.25 ounces) of carbon. They arrive at this number by counting from the time a user begins searching until they find what they are looking for, and estimate that carbon generation could range from 1-10 grams (0.04-0.35 ounces), depending on equipment. In everyday terms, they say a search is equivalent to half the energy required to boil a kettle. (more…)