Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Energy Secretary Chu visits Googleplex

Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu joined us at the Google campus today to talk about how the U.S. can build a prosperous economy powered by clean energy.

During a fireside chat with Googlers and our CEO Eric Schmidt, Secretary Chu talked about what it will take to create a clean energy revolution. When it comes to clean tech investments, he said, the Department of Energy is trying to "hit home runs, not base hits." He noted that there are many proposed solutions to climate change out there, and we need to pursue all of them. "The scale of what we need to do is enormous," said Secretary Chu, and "putting the world on a carbon diet" and dramatically bringing down the cost of clean energy and should be top priorities. If we succeed, it will "drive a new industrial revolution." 

You can watch the full video of his talk here:

Secretary Chu also heard from Googlers about some of our own clean energy projects including Google PowerMeter, which gives consumers access to their energy use information, developing renewable energy that is cheaper than coal (RE<C) and making our datacenters the most energy efficient in the world. "More companies need to get on board and make this part of their business plan," said the Secretary.

While in Mountain View, Secretary Chu announced $151 million in funding for 37 breakthrough energy projects in technologies like renewable power, energy efficiency and electric cars. The funding is being made available through the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), a newly-launched organization within the Department of Energy (DOE) created to support high-risk, high-reward research into innovative energy technologies. ARPA-E is modeled on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the agency that funded research that eventually led to the creation of the Internet.

Update on 10/29: Updated to include the full video of Secretary Chu's talk.

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