Social Innovation: Google Green

Dec 29, 2011 11:40 AM ET
Campaign: CSR Blogs

Posted by Sangeeta Haindl

Google is embracing social innovation through solar power as it has invested alongside global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR's) and Recurrent Energy, a leading solar developer to buy four photovoltaic power plants in California. This is Google's first investment in photovoltaic power plants, which uses on the ground thousands of solar panels like those found on residential rooftops. Google has stated that rooftop solar is appealing because it allows carbon-free electricity to be generated where it is consumed, avoiding the need for expensive and environmentally disruptive transmission projections.

The search giant has previously invested hundreds of millions of dollars in social innovation and renewable energy sources such as wind farms and solar thermal power plants. This June, Google created a $280 million fund to finance home solar arrays installed by Silicon Valley startup, SolarCity. This was Google's first collaboration with the nation's leading solar power and energy efficiency service provider. It is the largest residential solar fund created in the U.S.

Axel Martinez, Google's assistant treasurer says, "We're excited to be supporting KKR's entrance into the renewable energy sector in the U.S. 

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Sangeeta Haindl is a staff writer for Justmeans on Social Enterprise. When not writing for Justmeans, Sangeeta wears her other hat as a PR professional. Over the years, she has worked with high-profile organizations within the public, not-for-profit and corporate sectors; and won awards from her industry. She now runs her own UK consultancy: Serendipity PR & Media.