Google's latest renewable energy gambit: German solar

Someone told me recently that something like 40 percent of the world's solar capacity is sited in the country of Germany. In all likelihood, that's probably because of the funding environment that has existed with the past several years.

Someone told me recently that something like 40 percent of the world's solar capacity is sited in the country of Germany. In all likelihood, that's probably because of the funding environment that has existed with the past several years. Apparently, this hasn't escaped the notice of Internet giant Google, which plans to put $5 million into a new solar photovoltaic plant in that country.

The plant is in Brandenbur an der Havel, which is new Berlin. It has a peak generating capacity of 18.65 megawatts.

This latest investments complements the money that Google put into a number of renewable energy projects -- particular those focused on wind technologies like the Atlantic Wind Connection backbone.

I can't help but wonder about the intention of all these investments -- whether it is a bid to get into the utility business or whether we should watch these investments geographically as sites for Google's next major data centers. Regardless, I have to say that the massive cloud service provider is definitely a step of its rivals in this regard. While both Facebook and Microsoft have made enormous strides in energy efficiency -- with Facebook last week open sourcing its energy-efficient data center blueprint -- I don't see the same attention to generating capacity (at least that is being expressed publicly).