Google gives up on Renewable Energy campaign

Four years after Google launched a campaign to make renewable energy an affordable and mainstream alternative power, the Internet giant is tossing in the towel as their plan to help the world go green encounters a red light.

Google’s Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal project is one of seven ventures that the Silicon Valley search engine has announced it will be retiring, four years after the company started the campaign that has since proven to be unsuccessful.

Back in 2009, two years after it was launched, the company’s then-Green Energy Czar Bill Weihl told Reuters that the campaign would use Google’s massive brains and budget on the green initiative in order to make renewable energy a viable alternative to fossil fuels.

“It is even odds, more or less,” Weihl said back then. “In three years, we could have multiple megawatts of plants out there.”

Now only two years later, however, the project is being aborted. In a statement regarding the ending of the Renewable Energy campaign and the six other Google programs, Senior VP of Operations Urz Hölzle says, “we’re in the process of shutting down a number of products which haven’t had the impact we’d hoped for, integrating others as features into our broader product efforts and ending several which have shown us a different path forward.”

“At this point, other institutions are better positioned than Google to take this research to the next level.” Adds Hölzle. Weihl, who pushed the campaign back at its beginning, left Google earlier this month.

In addition to the retiring of the Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal project, Google is also halting work with Google Knol, Google Search Timeline, Google Gear, Google Friend Connect, Google Bookmarks Lists and Google Wave. Development with Wave was abandoned earlier this year, and only in recent days did the company reveal that it will also soon be eliminating Google Buzz, their unsuccessful attempt to compete with social network sites including Facebook and Twitter that was launched less than two years ago.

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