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Internet giant gets in on renewables act

Search engine leader Google has outlined a plan for the United States to cut its reliance on fossil fuels by 2030.

The California-based company has called for a big push in wind, solar and geothermal power to largely replace fossil fuels. Hybrid and electric cars would also get a major boost.

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Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, recently outlined the company’s ideas at a series of seminars

He told the gatherings that Google would like to see the reduction of the energy industry’s reliance on coal (currently the source of 50 percent of electricity), natural gas (20 percent) and nuclear energy (20 percent).

In addition, wind power should grow to 29 percent of U.S. electricity production. Geothermal should grow to 15 percent, while solar should increase to 12 per cent. Natural gas, hydroelectric power and nuclear energy would account for the rest.

Google has estimated that if the transformation takes place, and electricity consumption remains flat, fossil fuel use would be cut by 88 percent and carbon emissions would be reduced by 95 percent by 2030.

Getting consumers to buy hybrid and electric cars is the central theme of Google’s plan. Sales should ramp up from 100,000 in 2010 to 22 million in 2030. If coupled with efforts to improve the energy efficiency of conventional vehicles, the United States would consume 38 percent less oil compared with the projections for 2008.

 

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