I have to admit that I don't follow Google closely enough to "get" all the different activities that the company is funding with regard to energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy management, and so on. I need to change that, and it's on my to-do list. Or, at least, I'll try. I've never been all that successful in the past about getting Google to talk to me.
I DO know that Greenpeace lauds the company's political activism on its latest Cool IT Leaderboard (which rates some of the biggest business tech company's on the green-ness of their products, their political activities, and their internal activities related to carbon management. I also know that Google gets dinged on that list because it doesn't disclose much about its internal environmental metrics or carbon footprint reduction data.
Another thing I know is that Google and Microsoft are pretty much arch-enemies as far as software goes, and the whole energy management software and technology arena will be no different.
One pretty clear indication is the companies' encounter at GreenNet 2010 in San Francisco, where the two squared off about their policies in goals in the market.
This video from SmartPlanet (our sister blog site), shows that both are working on platforms to provide transparency to energy information and trends. Actually, their approach sounds pretty similar. The question is which one can forge the relationships that will matter most quickly.