- Google Inc.’s Energy Access team, led by VP Arun Majumdar, is developing software and hardware tools to manage transmission and distribution infrastructure in ways that will allow more efficient and flexible delivery of traditional and renewable energies from central and distributed sources, according to Bloomberg.
- The operator of the world’s most popular search engine requires very large amounts of electricity for its worldwide server fleet and sees a huge market opportunity in developing “solutions that aim to fundamentally change the world of power” and lead the transformation of the electricity delivery process.
- Along with innovation in everything from self-driving cars to wearable computers, Google has been working to advance the types, management, and delivery of energy on the grid, with investments in over $1 billion in solar and wind generation, in a multi-billion dollar ocean wind transmission backbone system, and in the $3.2 billion smart-thermostat pioneer Nest Labs.
Major multi-national power technology companies like ABB, Siemens, GE, and Alstom are also working on advanced energy management services designed to help utilities integrate rooftop solar and other distributed generation and demand response resources while protecting the grid.
Traditionally, electricity has moved one way from large, central generation stations to homes and businesses, but now other options offer lower costs, more efficiency, and less pollution, and managing those options requires skills and technologies similar to the ones needed to process data and move bits of information on broadband networks across the Internet.
Google already holds patents aimed at the more efficient delivery of power, including one for an apparatus to manage the flow of electricity on the grid when there is a larger penetration of battery charging for electric vehicles and appliances.
Google’s “Energy Access/Bottom Up Grid” project has recently posted job offerings for a power electronics hardware engineer and for a mechanical/thermal engineer (since filled).