Google, GE partner on energy initiatives

The two firms pushed clean energy at Google's Zeitgeist event

Google and General Electric have partnered to accelerate the development of new energy technologies and government policies.

The companies want to see electricity used more efficiently, generated from cleaner sources such as wind, the sun and geothermal heat, and applied more broadly in transportation through battery-powered cars.

The CEOs of the two companies made the announcement at Google's annual Zeitgeist event at its Mountain View, California, headquarters.

The companies' partnership will focus on technology and government lobbying.

They will attempt to advance technology for generating geothermal power, and for integrating plug-in electric cars into the power grid.

Google and GE have identified enhanced geothermal systems as one area of priority, including reservoir visualisation and power conversion.

In addition, they will focus on software and services that electricity utilities can employ to make electric grids more stable and better able to support plug-in vehicles.

The two companies will also lobby the US government to stimulate investment and innovation in new energy systems that take advantage of sources other than oil.

GE CEO Jeff Immelt said: "There's fundamentally two things that have to be done, and both of which we're working with Google on. One is that there's going to have to be more capacity, and if we really want to drive renewable energy to where it could be [in the US], we're going to have to have more transmission and distribution,". He added that government support is critical to make this happen.

"The second thing is that there's got to be a 'smart grid' which allows it to operate more effectively both in the last mile, but also as you wheel power around the country." he said.

"That's fundamentally software and gadgets," Immelt said.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that he expects many companies to participate in the Google-GE initiatives.

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Tags technologyGooglegezeitgeistimmeltschmidt

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