Execs at Google have been very vocal about how they want to speed up the pace of innovation in the greentech industry — they’ve developed their own energy tools, invested in greentech startups and even engineered their own solar hardware. But at an event at Google’s offices in San Francisco on Monday night, the company’s director of climate change and energy initiatives, Dan Reicher, said that Google will soon make a step into clean energy project investing. How exactly Google plans to do that, Reicher didn’t elaborate, but Reicher has made similar comments before about how Google wants to become more active in helping clean power projects cross the so-called “valley of death,” where promising technologies can easily flounder from lack of funding between the research and development stage and the commercialization stage.
Back in February 2008 at the Clean Tech Investor Summit in Palm Springs, Calif., Reicher told the audience that Google plans to fund “high-risk” clean energy projects that have proven difficult to finance. Google has the capital to take on those high-risk projects, explained Reicher back then. It was the same sentiment at the meeting at Google’s headquarters on Monday, in which Reicher reiterated that it was taking too long to move from “light bulb to light bulb,” or the idea to the product.Moving into project finance would be a new step for the search engine giant, but wouldn’t be entirely out of character....MORE