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Google Getting Serious about Solar Energy

A leading solar technologist has joined Google,  a hiring that underscores how serious the search engine giant is about moving beyond the role of cleantech investor and eventually driving innovation from Mountainview, Calif.

Doctor Philip Gleckman, chief scientist at solar thermal developer eSolar, has joined Google to spearhead the company’s in- house development of solar technology, G.E.R. has learned.

Gleckman will work with Bill Weihl, who oversees Google’s green energy investments, a Google spokesperson tells us.

Gleckman’s hiring confirms Google’s stated strategy to boost its in-house green R&D effort. At an industry conference about a year ago, Weihl said the company, besides continuing to invest in cleantech startups, would also  develop its own renewable energy technology.

Dr. Gleckman was a doctoral student at the University of Chicago, in the laboratory of  Prof. Roland Winston, one of the pioneer developer of of solar power technology. Given Glecksman’s CSP background, gives us a good indication of where Google is putting money, at least when it comes to solar power.

Since its 2oo7 launch, Google and its RE <C (renewable energy less than coal) strategy has evolved from being a largely VC-focused initiative, to  now also include the development of clean technologies as well as purchasing renewable power and even financing  wind projects.

By. Green Energy Reporter




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