Representatives from Google and General Electric told a group of politicians and energy experts at the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas that widespread use of renewable energy in U.S. may be possible; if it were cheaper, AP reports.
Google.org’s Director for Climate Change and Energy Initiatives, Dan Reicher, told AP that renewable energy options will remain “boutique” industries unless their prices are competitive with coal and other widely used power sources.
At the meeting, Google also announced plans to invest more than $10 million in AltaRock Energy ($6.25 million) and Potter Drilling ($4 million) to help develop “enhanced geothermal systems” technology with the goal of generating one gigawatt of renewable energy capacity.
Electricity will be generated by pumping water underground to crack hot rocks, then the heated water steam will be captured to turn a turbine. The steam will be reused by pumping it back underground.
According to the Department of Energy, these advanced techniques can increase geothermal potentials by 40 times.
Speakers at the meeting also talked about ideas crucial to building a “green” economy, such as extending tax credits, establishing caps on carbon emissions and modernizing the nation’s electricity grid. Meeting attendees hope to develop a national energy agenda to take to the Democratic and Republican parties at their upcoming conventions.