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Google: Clean Energy an Economic Lift

What's the Latest Development?

A new report from Google.org predicts that, given breakthroughs in solar, wind, nuclear and geothermal technology, the clean energy industry could grow to $150 billion annually and add 1.1 million new jobs in the next two decades. The key to making technological breakthroughs in energy, the report says, is aggressive investment from the government and private-sector companies. "Google said the study is limited by the decision not to try to project whether the targeted clean energy technology breakthroughs were achievable."

What's the Big Idea?

The new report on clean energy technology was inspired by the nation's energy policy debate that, according to Google's energy czar Bill Weihl, asks a lot of the wrong questions. The report itself ran different models of future events: " When the model was run assuming only enactment of the clean energy policies, it showed a gain 458,000 net new jobs in 2030, and a small, $37 billion addition to the gross domestic product that year. ... The combination of technology breakthroughs and the new policies produced 1.9 million more jobs and $244 billion in added output by 2030."

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