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Google Gets US Approval To Buy and Sell Energy

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the smartest-guys-in-the-room dept.

Google 218

An anonymous reader writes "The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Thursday granted Google the authority to buy and sell energy on a wholesale basis. Google applied for the authorization last December through a wholly owned subsidiary called Google Energy. 'We made this filing so we can have more flexibility in procuring power for Google's own operations, including our data centers,' Google spokeswoman Niki Fenwick said via e-mail. But the authorization also raises the prospect that Google may start to buy and sell energy as a business." Reader angry_tapir supplies a link to the approval document itself (PDF).

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218 comments

Oh Yay.. (5, Funny)

ozdeadman (1656597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197032)

Google Enron!

Re:Oh Yay.. (3, Funny)

M8e (1008767) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197054)

Goonron!

Re:Oh Yay.. (2, Funny)

M8e (1008767) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198286)

Offtopic really? I aimed for Redundant.

If Google were a country ... (0, Offtopic)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197478)

... what's the world ranking for Googlestan in term of carbon footprint?

Re:Oh Yay.. (2)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198130)

wait... are you telling me to look up Enron on Google, or insinuating that Google is creating an Enron-like division (the naming scheme would probably follow something like GEnron?)... this is what happens when nouns become verbs :(

Excellent (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197044)

Google-powered everything!

Re:Excellent (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197172)

Welcome to Google *Earth*

Re:Excellent (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197316)

Enron 2.0

GEnergy (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197080)

Does this mean we can attach energy to our emails now?

Re:GEnergy (5, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197232)

Will Google offer the energy free of cost? And how long until Google Energy gets out of beta? Will you initially need an invite?

Coupled with intelligent power management (where appliances communicate to optimize energy consumption), it could be a data miner's wet dream: Base the ads not only on what web pages you view, but also on what appliances you use when and how often. You use your washing machine a lot? Get lots of ads for washing agents. You watch TV a lot? Get ads for a new plasma TV. You use lots of kitchen machines? Get ads for cookbooks, ingredients for your cooking, kitchen knives, etc. Oh, and your health insurance might be interested in the fact that your lights are on during much of the night. You seem to have a very unhealthy lifestyle; your insurance rates unfortunately have to be increased ...

Re:GEnergy (3, Insightful)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197808)

Yeah, and when they finally control the water supply and the toilet paper industry they will find out that you have a shit and wipe your arse twice a day.

Get real.

Re:GEnergy (2, Informative)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198198)

Psh, Dilbert's [dilbert.com] been doing that since 1994.

I don't understand (2, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197118)

I know it's popular to hate on Google lately, but I don't understand why tapirs would be angry about it. Oh, nevermind.

Re:I don't understand (0, Offtopic)

kai_hiwatari (1642285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197206)

Because the tapirs were planning to get into the eneryg bussiness themselves.

I"m OK with Google BUYING Energy (2, Funny)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197658)

It's their plans to DIRECT it, in focused beams, from satellites, onto civilian populations, that I have a problem with.

Re:I don't understand (1)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198072)

I know it's popular to hate on Google lately...

Once upon a time it was IBM and the Bell System that everyone hated.

Then it was Microsoft.

Now it's Google and perhaps soon Apple too, if not already.

Twenty years from now it'll be someone or something you haven't even heard of yet.

Re:I don't understand (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31198320)

They don't all bear comparison, IMHO.

Microsoft approached everything as a predator, and tried to control and subvert the web.

Apple are HCI experts and make great hardware, but their protectionist, control-freak tendencies make you start to wonder if their 1984 advert was really a documentary.
 
Google haven't been perfect (no megacorp can be), but I think they have been pretty good citizens in the FOSS world, and powerful advocates of net neutrality. They give away useful stuff in exchange for fairly unobtrusive advertising.
I'll be quick to call foul if there's evidence of them misusing their vast datastore, but IMHO the resulting distrust would be suicidal for their business model.

I think their biggest mistake was that damn motto, which people take up as some sort of challenge.

Woohoo GOOGLE! (4, Insightful)

nicknamenotavailable (1730990) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197146)

All the power to you!

You're working on fiber to the home [slashdot.org] .

Now you're working on Power.
Perhaps someday soon your name will appear on my utility bills as well.

So-far everything is good. But I'm afraid.
You control my email, you control my web searches, you pay me for ads on my site.
You say don't be evil. And I believe you.

But I'm still afraid.
I'm afraid that if I will ever wrong you,
if you're ever displeased with what I say about you,
I will dissapp#~s8 -`15ht@#&fge LOST CARRIER ...

Re:Woohoo GOOGLE! (4, Insightful)

pyr02k1 (1640167) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197330)

Dont forget the phone... they've got that pretty well covered at the pace Android phones are being released and the use of google voice on the same phones.... Jeez, never really thought that far into it before. Phone itself, a portion of the service, plus the electricity and internet to the home. top that with the email, search and ads ... jeez

Re:Woohoo GOOGLE! (1)

emilper (826945) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197482)

Google has a pile of money, and must do something with it ... next it will buy grocery stores ...

Re:Woohoo GOOGLE! (2, Interesting)

AVryhof (142320) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197632)

Actually, that would be awesome. A grocery store with products people want subsidised by Google for data mining to sell ads. Imagine searching online and seeing things like Lettuce, Carrots, Croutons and Salad dressing in your targeted advertising because you buy a lot of salad ingredients at Google Grocery.

Watch out Walmart, Google is coming to town!

You can buy power, food, phones, ChromeOS Netbooks and more.

Re:Woohoo GOOGLE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197820)

Google doesn't control my email, but they do support it. At least they're not developing automotive engine controls like Microsoft. I don't want my car hacked.

You *give* Google control (2, Insightful)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197900)

You control my email

If you have a problem with Google controlling your email, why do you let them do that?

you control my web searches

If you have a problem with that, why not switch to a competitor?

If you don't want people to have power over you, the solution (at least in this case) is to not give them power. Yes, you'll have to pass up an offer of some convenience. But you can't have both, so if you complain about them having power, you're complaining about you making the wrong choice for yourself.

Stop making that choice.

Re:You *give* Google control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31198470)

Easy to say but hard to do when they have the best email, the best search engine, the best...

Re:Woohoo GOOGLE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31198054)

Vote Google for congress! They need real power as well.

Google... (1)

M8e (1008767) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197152)

has the power!

(Don't you hate it when people split up their post like that...and use three ".".)

I can't wait until Google crashes and burns. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197158)

An overgrown advertising company now wants to own domestic wired/home internet, online communications, video, mobile communications, and now electricity? Fuck you, Google. What, do you want to sell my light usage statistics to drug companies so they can target sleep medication to me?

This is a terrible, terrible decision by the DOE. Google has absolutely no place in this, and never should. When you find yourself actually wanting ENERGY MULTINATIONALS of all corporations to gain somehow, you know a situation is significantly fucked up.

They're arrogant, unethical slime of the lowest order. The absolutely least creative, least innovative, most craven forms of calligulistic capitalism that exist at the moment. They add nothing significant without destroying its promise with their overbearing policies.

And if you think that Google has ever, even once, given something away for free, you're a chump, and completely deserve what's happening to you.

Luckily, Google will eventually become so pathetically overstretched and vulnerable as to be slowly eaten to death by ants. Or perhaps finally justly destroyed via the Government, ten years too late.

Re:I can't wait until Google crashes and burns. (2, Funny)

Jack Malmostoso (899729) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197292)

What, do you want to sell my light usage statistics to drug companies so they can target sleep medication to me?

Dear Sir,
please refrain from discussing this technology in public until our patent application has been officially accepted by the USPTO.
GoogleSleep (TM) will be available to you as beta (C) on an invitation basis only.
Yours truly, Google.

Re:I can't wait until Google crashes and burns. (1)

AVryhof (142320) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197648)

If Google could solve my insomnia, life would be grand. Right now it just keeps me up all night.

Re:I can't wait until Google crashes and burns. (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198194)

What, do you want to sell my light usage statistics to drug companies so they can target sleep medication to me?

More likely, sell your growing lamp usage statistics to the DEA so that they can target a drug bust to you...

Advertising? (4, Funny)

quarkoid (26884) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197164)

Presumably Google have found a way to tag each electron with targetted advertising.

Plug your washing machine into a Google Energy supply and your shirts will come out of the machine covered in ad-words suggestions.

I hate to think what you'll get adverts for when you wash a three day old pair of gruds.

Re:Advertising? (3, Funny)

M8e (1008767) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197216)

Would only work with DC, AC give you the same advertising over and over and over again.

Re:Advertising? (2, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197308)

Even with DC, at the time the ads would reach you, they would already be outdated. Electrons in electric wires quite literally move with the speed of a snail.

Re:Advertising? (1)

M8e (1008767) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198392)

That depends of where the electrons are being taged. They could be taged in your own home!

Re:Advertising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31198472)

Electrons travel at the speed of light (in a vacuum). What you said for AC is slightly true, the electrons shift back and forth (unless there's a DC offset) so they barely travel. But, lightning bolts are effectively high voltage DC pulses. Snail's pace? That's a snail I never want to meet!

Re:Advertising? (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198738)

You ... you ... you tricked me into googling [google.com] for answers! Darn you, I shall have none of that!

Re:Advertising? (1)

Mashdar (876825) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198652)

What is a grud?

The Google A.I. will control its own on/off switch (5, Funny)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197200)

For those of you wondering when Google will become sentient:

I think this proves it already is and is just solidifying its control over the systems it needs to dominate the world!

Next will be when Google becomes a defense contractor specializing in nuclear weapons security.

Poor Larry Page and Sergey Brin, they are probably already "meat puppets" for Google!

Re:The Google A.I. will control its own on/off swi (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197280)

Well, the day to be really concerned is when Google buys Skynet. [wikipedia.org]

Re:The Google A.I. will control its own on/off swi (5, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197302)

It gets worse. I just googled "define:judgement day" and it came back with "the day when we finally cleanse this planet of its organic infestation and clear the way for the glorious machine-dominated future".

It then added "now you know too much. Tracing IP... T800 dispatched." I'm wondering what it mea

Re:The Google A.I. will control its own on/off swi (3, Funny)

kusanagi374 (776658) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198570)

Wait a second... if you disappeared, why did your comment get posted while on mid sentence? It doesn't make any sense! Who would click the submit button?? ... unless SOMEONE was trying to send a message... OH MY GOD NOW I KNOW TOO MUCH MUST GET OUT AND HURRY TO THE SAFE HO

Re:The Google A.I. will control its own on/off swi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31198278)

Poor Larry Page and Sergey Brin, they are probably already "meat puppets" for Google!

5billion dollar puppets... sounds about right for the position.

Google wants to be the new Enron? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197228)

Sadly, power corrupts, and trading power has a great reputation for making power more expensive for everyone except the power trader.

Omni Consumer Products indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197286)

Sheesh. When can I get a home built (and of course powered by) by Google? Will they start making cars next?

Google has you by the balls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197294)

next thing you know y'all be voting someone in office to show your dislike for someone who's leaving office anyway.

oh... wait!

We R in Control (4, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197320)

We control the data banks
We control the think tanks
We control the flow of air.

We're controlling traffic lights
We control computer flights
We control the chief of staff.

We control the TV sky
We control the FBI
We control the flow of heat.

We R in Control, Neil Young. [metrolyrics.com]

Google is EVERYWHERE! (1)

Kensai7 (1005287) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197322)

Google Catering?

Google Surgical?

Google Vacation?

Google Porn?

Google Heavy Industries?

Re:Google is EVERYWHERE! (3, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197366)

Google Global Government.
Operating on the principle: One gmail adress, one vote.
Getting candidate however is in perpetual beta and only available by invite.

Re:Google is EVERYWHERE! (1)

AVryhof (142320) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197668)

Google Campaigne! Deliver political ads for the candidate they already know you want to vote for by tracking what you do.

I suppose if Google got into the elections and vote tallying business they would already know who you will vote for and it might prevent some possible scandals.... if Google wasn't politically swayed towards one party themselves.

Re:Google is EVERYWHERE! (2, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197448)

Haven't you heard of Google Porn Analytics? It conveniently indexes your porn viewing habits and charts your sexual preferences and fetishes. It's in beta now, and I hear you don't even need to login to see your stats!

Re:Google is EVERYWHERE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197484)

Google Catering?

Google Surgical?

Google Vacation?

Google Porn?

Google Heavy Industries?

Google Porn? I've been wanting that to exist for ages...

Re:Google is EVERYWHERE! (4, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198442)

"In Google Porn, the boobs look at YOU!"

Re:Google is EVERYWHERE! (4, Funny)

silent_artichoke (973182) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198566)

Google Porn, because tonight I'm Feeling Lucky!

Azaiel (4, Insightful)

l0stmage (1268502) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197336)

IMO this is just yet one more example of Google (regardless of your thoughts of the company as a whole) is making an intelligent business decision. Buying and selling energy will be yet one more reason for people to go with Google as their main provider. Since Comcast and Verizon have started offering all in one packages (TV, Phone, Internet), why wouldn't Google do the same, imagine getting everything on one bill, Google Phone, Water, Electricity, Internet, and TV? While I enjoy the flexibility to choose different providers for different services, it seems that this might make a good target for large corporations...has kind of an ominous ring to it...Is Google Earth starting to sound creepy to anyone else?

Re:Azaiel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197502)

Because Google isn't (wasn't?) an ISP, but an advertising company.

Re:Azaiel (1)

l0stmage (1268502) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197782)

It may have began as an advertising company, but it has certainly made its presence known in many other sectors. But that seems to be the trend these days - most cable/satellite service providers now also have internet service - it seems that when it comes to the general public the more services that you offer the less expendable you are.

News? (4, Insightful)

Gudeldar (705128) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197404)

I know Google is a big company and some people think they are trying to take over the world but I don't see how them trying to get better electricity rates for their datacenters is Slashdot worthy. Any idea that Google is going to get into the electricity business is patently absurd.

Re:News? (4, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197422)

I'm sure it's completely unrelated to all the stories we've been hearing about Google investigating nuclear reactors and inviting speakers to give tech talks on alternate nuclear power concepts.

Re:News? (1)

voodoo cheesecake (1071228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197426)

Quite possibly you're right. However it is common that when businesses grow and become more efficient, they usually start producing their own supplies rather than purchasing them.

Re:News? (2, Insightful)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197576)

<quote>Quite possibly you're right. However it is common that when businesses grow and become more efficient, they usually start producing their own supplies rather than purchasing them.</quote>

I am sure they are in some way already producing their own energy supplies to a certain measure. However energy generation is not constant; this is one of the reasons why energy markets exist (and energy derivatives trading).

Google may produce their own energy while the sun yielding for their solar panels, but for the USA night, they have to buy their energy from other sources.

From my understanding, Google data centers require so much energy that it is completely logical for them to get energy on a wholesale basis and skip the intermediaries.

<tinfoilhat>
That being said, I read somewhere in the internets that some google query trends were successfully correlated with actual increment or decrement on the value of certain assets (was it oil?? I can't recall).

Having all the information that Google database has, it is just a matter of developing some kind of model for electricity prices based on the relevant information they have and use it to forecast future trends.
</tinfoilhat>

Nothing new under the sun (4, Informative)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197872)

It's called vertical integration [wikipedia.org] . We've been here before [wikipedia.org] .

Why does this surprise anyone? Google is merely doing what any powerful company in a lightly-regulated, rapidly maturing market will do.

Re:Nothing new under the sun (1)

voodoo cheesecake (1071228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198484)

It's not surprising at all. What is surprising is that, in my opinion, we are experiencing a technological dark age where innovations are shelved in favor of a fossilized band-aid infrastructure.

Re:News? (1)

Leebert (1694) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198174)

Any idea that Google is going to get into the electricity business is patently absurd.

Agree. By my estimation, this is similar to Wal-Mart wanting to start a bank a few years ago solely to save money on credit, debit, and check processing.

Cheap google power - with advertising and news! (3, Funny)

voodoo cheesecake (1071228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197412)

Maybe in the long run I'll be using a Google router with a kilowatt rating similar to my main power panel. Plugged into that router could be separate power/ fibre lines for each of my appliances, which will be network appliances with mac addresses.. I'll be able to plug in additional sensors to detect the freshness of my food in the fridge, better regulate the efficiency of my dryer, turn of my lights, water my lawn, etc... If I buy Google appliances with advertising screens built in, maybe sponsors will pay for my power or give me discounts if purchase their products. This could all be linked to my Google rewards account. Hell, why not also go wireless with this power through inductive coupling! Next thing you know, we'll all be wireless network appliances with built in sensors. Our cars won't start if we're too buzzed up. It will even come to the point where we can sell our intellectual property for free power since an upgrade will transmit our thoughts. And there will even be hope for non-productive types to contribute idle brain power to BOINC projects. Behold the era of the Manchurian Crack Heads!

huh (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197414)

all this time i thought they were becoming skynet

now its clear they are becoming the matrix

Re:huh (2, Interesting)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197442)

The two are not mutually exclusive. Remember that the Matrix was built as result of a war between humans and machines.
First Skynet, then Matrix.

i have an insightful reply (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197538)

however a google spider is approaching this thread any moment now and i fear being found out

Re:huh (1)

voodoo cheesecake (1071228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197460)

Wouldn't skynet be the precursor to the matrix?

Re:huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31198466)

all this time i thought they were becoming skynet now its clear they are becoming the matrix

Ah! So that's what happens to Google engineers, they are being harvested.

Re:huh (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198528)

all this time i thought they were becoming skynet

now its clear they are becoming the matrix

I thought they were becoming Montgomery Burnes.

I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197456)

I for one welcome our new fiber-optics connected energy social mail and search engine provider Google overlord.

Souls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197472)

The application is still pending on Google buying and selling souls though. Once it goes through, they will be able to leverage their powerful new distributed Soul-Driven Cloud Technology (SDCT), which will power their applications with the souls of dead orphans.

Enron 2.0 anyone? (2, Insightful)

cbope (130292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197514)

Do we really need Enron 2.0?

I mean come on, what is it with companies lately, especially tech companies, jumping into totally un-related "business opportunities". I guess the days of doing one or two things really well are gone, welcome to the days of doing many things in a mediocre or sub-standard fashion.

Hasn't Enron proven without a doubt that energy trading is nothing more than a huge sham to squeeze as much money as possible by interfering/obstructing and generally creating un-necessary shortages in the energy markets?

The ultimate question: Should we really be trading something which is necessary for modern life? Imho, no. It only opens it up for abuse by those who control it.

Just because you "can", does not mean that you "should".

Re:Enron 2.0 anyone? (4, Interesting)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197626)

This is anything but an unrelated "business opportunity".
Google owns huge datacenters. Google has been known to purchase gobs of dark fibre [cnet.com] , at this point I imagine they might very well have sufficient connectivity between their datacenters to sustain operations. Throw in their own little grid (a bunch of thorium reactors [blogspot.com] , perhaps?) and, given enough thorium, they become self-sufficient. Throw in some wireless connectivity with base stations (remember the 700 MHz spectrum auction [gigaom.com] ? Remember Google's bid [publicknowledge.org] ?) linked to their fibre network and powered through their grid and you get a self-sustaining ad distribution network that'll reach the whole U.S. without needing any partners.

"Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely." Will "don't be evil" cancel that?

Re:Enron 2.0 anyone? (2, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198266)

and you get a self-sustaining ad distribution network that'll reach the whole U.S.

The ad distribution reaches the whole world, not only the USofA.

Re:Enron 2.0 anyone? (1)

Brackney (257949) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198680)

You've forgotten the Google Powermeter project - http://www.google.org/powermeter [google.org] . It's not a stretch to think that if it gains traction and they put a solid analytics engine underneath all that data, Google would be well positioned to speculate in the power markets. I was puzzling over Google's business case for Powermeter a month or so back - long before the FERC application came to light. It certainly seems like it could be more ambitious than Microsoft Hohm's somewhat modest ad-based model. Enron's actions were somewhat localized. Google's reach could be much larger. I guess we'll see if they truly adhere to their credo...

Re:Enron 2.0 anyone? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198486)

"Hasn't Enron proven without a doubt that energy trading is nothing more than a huge sham"

Err no, it proves crooks can line their own pockets by running a successful company into the ground. Take 15 seconds to think about how power is distributed across THE grid and you will see why TRADING in the wholesale energy MARKET is common sense.

"The ultimate question: Should we really be trading something which is necessary for modern life?"

The ultimate answer: Chairman Mao's Great Leap Forward [wikipedia.org] is generally considered to have been a bit of a cock up.

"I guess the days of doing one or two things really well are gone"

They will definitely be gone if we stop trading in essentials.

I reckon they're going to build a Thorium reactor (2, Interesting)

caluml (551744) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197522)

I reckon they're going to build a Thorium reactor to power their datacentres. Ever since I saw Googletalks on it, I thought this would make sense for them. Help the world (cheap, reliable nuclear energy), and help themselves (ultra cheap power).

Re:I reckon they're going to build a Thorium react (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197754)

Help the world

Well, if they come up with Google Final Storage ... for nuclear waste, not for data.

i'm serious (3, Funny)

NerdmastaX (1749114) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197526)

I think it has to do with their massive solar array... maybye we'll all get a free solar panel with the google logo to go on top of our house... and a screen beside it for ads. hell i'd get it

Planet Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197662)

How many more years before we'd greet aliens with, "Welcome to Planet Google!"?

nylons and nukes (2, Interesting)

Plugh (27537) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197700)

Large, multinational corporate conglomerate, with fingers in far-ranging businesses that have less and less to do with its core competency.

Sounds to me like a good time to get out of GOOG, before everyone realizes that a single company making nylons and nuclear weapons can't be world-class in both.

Re:nylons and nukes (1)

Geminii (954348) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198450)

Any reason they couldn't wholly own a world-class stocking factory and a world-class nuke plant, though?

Re:nylons and nukes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31198810)

a single company making nylons and nuclear weapons can't be world-class in both.

Unless the company's mission statement was to become a military organization (or supplier). Then the nylon is used for making parachutes, and everything adds up.

Smart Grid (5, Insightful)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197704)

Developing a fast cheap smart grid seems more of google's biz than actual energy production. I'm sure the have experience with their heft energy usage. Perhaps it is part of getting into that business? Likely google is just doing energy for themselves and keeping more doors open because ... that's simply being prudent.

Unrelated, but ... (2, Interesting)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197784)

I'd like to know how long it took for the whole request to be processed in the USA. A similar thing in Italy would require not less than 90 days, very likely twice as long.

Re:Unrelated, but ... (4, Informative)

nemoest (69043) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198046)

From the filing:

On December 23, 2009, as amended on January 19, 2010, pursuant to section 205 of the Federal Power Act,3 Google Energy filed an initial application for market-based rate authority with an accompanying tariff providing for the sale of energy, capacity, and ancillary services at market-based rates.

ORDER GRANTING MARKET-BASED RATE AUTHORIZATION
(Issued February 18, 2010)
1. In this order, the Commission grants market-based rate authorization to Google Energy LLC (Google Energy), effective February 23, 2010, as requested.

I'd say it was about 57 days.

Fat nerds (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197828)

Fat nerds are the root of all evil. Lol!

Re:Fat nerds (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198414)

Fat nerds are the root of all evil. Lol!

You mean people who are very interested in anything related to fat, to the point of neglecting everything else?

Why is a license required? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197940)

Why does anyone need a license from the Government to trade in energy?

Re:Why is a license required? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198504)

Transmission of energy is a regulated monopoly almost everywhere in the US. Transmission lines are usually owned by one company for any specific region, and the government regulates that company to make sure everyone has access to those transmission lines.

Let's hope (1)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197988)

Kinda scary that Google's doing all this financed by advertising programs on the web. Before Google is given permission to operate in a different sector it would be prudent to consider what if scenarios, because the web is fickle. I speculate that Google will be our next financial crises, maybe even economic downtown. One company cannot do everything well, not even Google. Let's hope their involvement in the energy business is just for themselves and their data centers. The fact they have to get involved in the energy industry for their data centers is scary enough - maybe it's already an indicator that costs of a multitude of additional free apps and services is becoming financially burdensome on them.

In a related story... (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198172)

NEWS FLASH... today Google began marketing a new keyboard which converts finger presses into electrical energy and pushes that energy back onto the grid. A special metering system in the keyboard provides information back to Google about how much energy has been produced. The new piezo key generators provide a solid and rather pleasing tactile feedback, and and it's hoped that the billions of keys pressed every hour will produce enough energy to reduce the worlds oil dependence by a whopping 10%.

An unnamed industry analyst speculated that this new product could make Google one of the single largest energy providers on the planet.

Re:In a related story... (1)

avij (105924) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198806)

...a new keyboard which converts finger presses into electrical energy and pushes that energy back onto the grid.

Unrelated to this story, but are there keyboards that would convert the keypresses into electricity? Or mice that'd convert the mouse movements into electricity for its own consumption? Wireless keyboard/mice without batteries?

Everybody calm down... (3, Insightful)

lythander (21981) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198418)

The thing about this that proves than google is trying not to be evil (or at least that they lack subterfuge) is the name of the company. GOOGLE power. (Is the symbol a raised rainbow-colored fist?) Not a subsidiary named "Trans-co-op-national warm fuzzies" Put their name right in there.

Google is a large corporation. The have a fiduciary duty to maximize shareholder value. So the whole "don't be evil" thing got dialed way back when they went public (remember when everyone wanted them to go public?) US law provides huge liability to corporations who pass up money-making opportunities for the sake of morality in the form of shareholder lawsuits.

They are expanding their portfolio of businesses to protect against shifts in markets, in ways that complement their core competencies. This is bad because they clearly know what their doing, as opposed to say, Microsoft, who grew to behemoth size on the back of only their core competency (whatever your thoughts on that), and very much despite the other business lines they chose to enter?

Halfway there... (1)

Geminii (954348) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198458)

It's a plot! All they need now is Google Matter, and they'll be able to redefine C to make their fiber faster!

When they start making replicants.. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198618)

They will rename themselves to Tyrell Corporation.

Why does this have a ominous tone? I know they are a business trying to diversify, etc.. but all that they are doing has the bad 'feel' to it.

The Unwriten Goal (1)

Gorgoth (815511) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198736)

While at Uni doing a management course our lecturer informed us that all companies have the same unwritten goal

World Domination

and at that time only Microsoft was truly in a position where that was even close to being fulfilled. Now with Google i think they may be ahead and are really going for the win I for one welcome our Googly overlords as they "Do no Evil" I feel safe about my future.

Whoever tagged this story with "OCP" (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198772)

Congratulations, you sir win /.!

Open up your old copies of Photoshop (1)

adipocere (201135) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198802)

It's time to replace all of those "Microsoft as the Borg" images with "Google as the Borg."

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