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Mountain View, Calif.-based Google has announced a new strategic initiative to develop electricity from renewable energy sources. The newly created initiative, known as RE<C, will focus initially on advanced solar thermal power, wind power technologies, enhanced geothermal systems and other potential breakthrough technologies.

RE<C is hiring engineers and energy experts to lead its research and development work, which will begin with a significant effort on solar thermal technology, and will also investigate enhanced geothermal systems and other areas. In 2008, Google expects to invest in research and development (R&D) and related investments in renewable energy.

Google will work with a variety of organizations in the renewable energy field, including companies, R&D laboratories and universities.

One of the companies Google will work with is Makani Power Inc., an Alameda, Calif.-based company developing high-altitude wind energy extraction technologies aimed at harnessing the most powerful wind resources.



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