Crossroads

At the intersection of technology, finance and the Pacific Rim.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Google and Power

Google has received the right to sell power to consumers and companies from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. What could they be thinking?

Wired explains:

Google can now exploit its massive data centers to provide services for controlling power consumption in commercial buildings, industrial sites, and homes. It is largely a task that should be handed off to large computer rooms.

Providing these services will allow Google to better leverage its hardware resources. Search will get cheaper because the hardware budget can be amortized over more services. Both web 2.0 companies and energy-services companies will complain about being undercut by the big G. Consumers will also have to get used to Google having even more information about their daily habits.

But can Google charge for energy-management services? That could be a challenge. The average person might rightly balk at suddenly being asked to write a monthly check to one of the biggest companies in the world, particularly if other companies offer the same services.

This is where the power part comes in. Consumers will pay for power. If Google combines its services — for free — with competitively priced electricity, consumers will likely lose that reticence. It will be a better combination than what their utility can provide.

Conversely, Google could charge for these services the same way energy services companies like Siemens do: If Google saves you $200 on your utility bill, you pay the company half. You pay, but you still save. It’s a theory, but clearly the company and its founders are obsessed with alternative energy.



Read More http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/02/google-can-sell-power-like-a-utility/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wired%2Findex+%28Wired%3A+Index+3+%28Top+Stories+2%29%29&utm_content=Google+Reader#ixzz0g1qLNfq5

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