Google, in early June announced a new construction project called SolarCity. As most evidenced by its moniker, it will be a structure run mostly on solar power. It appears that this company has spurred on a challenge, so to speak. GE, another magnificently prominent company, plans on doing the same thing, participating in a challenge called Ecomagination.
General Electric plans to spend roughly $63 million in commercial partnerships with ten home energy technology companies. This is only one aspect of their Ecomagination project. The project will use over $200 million collectively, investing in clean energy resources. Google is spending $280 million comparatively. Could this be the start of something good? When Google and GE invest in something, it certainly brings a lot of welcomed attention to it. What these companies bring is clout–and clean energy certainly needs as much of that as it could get. Competing with oil companies that earn more than multiple governments put together already makes the task as daunting as one could imagine it.
However, lets illuminate an interesting dynamic occurring within the solar energy industry. As home solar panel installation becomes more popular, we see healthy competition occurring between rival solar paneling companies. Google is funding projects for SolarCity, while their main competitor, SunRun, has made several commercial partnership of their own, with GE being the most recent. This competitive spirit, with projects popping up here and there for resourceful energy solutions, should remind us all that during these hard economic times, we are not short on human capital. Investing in ideas are not only done by individuals looking to protect themselves, but also by giant companies like Google and GE who see the potential in all of us and our country.