10.6. ENERGY-EFFICIENT GOOGLEPLEX
Google planned to hire 20 to 30 engineers and experts to pursue its energy conservation ideas using Google's own facilities, which will be the guinea pigs for testing promising technologies.
In 2007, Google announced its intentions to operate in a carbon-neutral environment by the end of the year. In May of that year, Google switched on 9,212 solar panels at Googleplex. Using Google Earth, they are visible from the sky, lined up in neat rows on the rooftops and even atop parking shelters. Googleplex at first had the largest solar installation of any corporate facility, but soon another company surpassed it. However, a Google spokesman says that Googleplex itself wasn't carbon neutral by mid-2008. In fact, the Mountain View campus may never achieve that goal. Some Google facilities around the world may achieve above the goal and others may hit below, but that is okay as long as the company becomes net neutral.
"But just providing energy for Google is not really enough of a goal," Page said. "We really want to provide energy that's cheap enough that it can replace significant amounts of energy that are used today."
Thanks to its stated commitment to all things environmental, Google drew flak for Sergey and Larry's personal airplane. The Government Accounting Office (GAO) estimates that global aircraft emissions account for approximately 3.5 percent of the warming generated by human activities. It isn't easy to defend the use of a large plane with ...