Google Inc. says it is abandoning its ambitious program to drive down the cost of renewable energy, one of seven major initiatives canceled by the Internet giant this week as it looks to focus on its core projects. Launched four years ago through Google.org, the company’s philanthropic arm, the so-called Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal (RE < C) initiative included a team of engineers dedicated to researching renewable energy technologies, with a focus on solar energy technologies. The Google program invested in Brightsource Energy and eSolar, companies working on concentrated solar power projects, and also invested in potentially breakthrough technologies. “At this point, other institutions are better positioned than Google to take this research to the next level,” the company announced on its corporate blog. Google published the results of its energy research online, encouraging other companies to use it to advance the renewables industry. The changes come as Google, the world’s top search engine, faces increasing competition in mobile phone technology and social media.
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