Google is working on new technology that could lower the cost of building solar thermal plants by at least a quarter, according to reports.
Google’s head of green energy, Bill Weihl, told Reuters that the company is looking to cut the cost of making heliostats, the fields of mirrors that track the sun.
"We’ve been looking at very unusual materials for the mirrors both for the reflective surface as well as the substrate that the mirror is mounted on," he said.
The company reportedly announced in late 2007 that it would invest in affordable renewable energy within a few years. Its engineers have focused on solar thermal technology, which uses mirrors to focus the sun’s rays on a substance that then produces steam, which turns a turbine.
Weihl told Reuters that Google hopes to have a viable technology to show internally in the next few months. He added that the company is also working on gas turbines that run on solar power.