Google’s Latest Mission: Organize the World’s Electricity
Google has won approval to enter the speculative energy trading business. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an order Thursday giving the company the authority to buy and sell wholesale electricity just like a utility.
Presumably, Google (GOOG) will use it to keep energy costs down by hedging power consumption against market movements. But as I’ve noted here before, the authorization also gives Google the ability to “act as a power marketer, purchasing electricity and reselling it to wholesale customers.” And the company has established a subsidiary called Google Energy. But Google insists its ambitions don’t extend beyond its own energy needs. As spokesperson Niki Fenwick told me in January, “[this] does not signal our intent to operate as a retail provider of electricity.”
I suppose not. After all, while Google doesn’t operate any power generation or transmission facilities. Well, not yet, anyway.