Renewable energy – a capitalist dream

Ever wondered what you could do to protect the environment if you had an unlimited budget? Or how about if you were one of the most powerful and affluent companies on the planet?  Well Google have.

Last week  Google (along with other partners) officially opened the world’s largest solar thermal energy plant, in California. The plant uses 173,500 heliostats, with mirrors focusing the energy from the Sun onto solar power towers – this produces 392 MW! That’s enough to power 140,000 homes.


It might surprise you to know that 34% of Google’s operations are powered by renewables and their aiming to increase that to 100% in the near future – though they haven’t set a date.

On top of this Google already had a 1.9 MW solar array at one of their buildings in the states and 970 Kw is recovered form their landfill wastes’ methane emissions. They’ve also invested $1 billion in projects around the world – collectively they produce 2 Gigawatts for the world power grid.

Written by TreeThinker

Passionate about the Earth and those who inhabit it. An engineer (BEng (Hons), MSEE) from Oxfordshire, UK, specialising in designing for a sustainable future. A member of the Society of Environmental Engineers and a keen environmental advocate who volunteers for several grass roots sustainability groups. I work full time as a project manager for a renewable energy company based in Oxford and also run ‘TreeThinker’ (; converting previous pasture land into a rich permaculture farm growing produce for sale locally. I deliver workshops on sustainable living, including building renewable energy technologies, as well as workshops for schools discussing 'Energy as a resource' amongst other topics. I am qualified in ‘Information, advice and guidance’ (level 4) and experienced at teaching practical skills. I'm also a keen cyclist and have a love of wordplay - writing a blog on etymology (

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