Schmidt to help make US energy-efficient by 2030

LONDON - Google chief executive Eric Schmidt has pledged to help wean the US off coal and oil over the next 20 years as he ups the ante on his calls for a policy change on alternative energy.

In a paper called "Where would Google drill?", unveiled this week, Schmidt explained he would cut oil use for cars by 40% between now and 2030.

The Google plan would include introducing robust wind and solar tax credits, introducing stricter building regulations and a carbon tax.

According to a report in The Times, Schmidt, who is a business advisor to Barack Obama, acknowledged that making the change to alternative energy would cost "trillions of dollars", but said in the long term it would save cash.

Google is renowned for its commitment to cleaner living and to date has invested millions of dollars helping to finance companies that are working on the development of wind, solar and geothermal technologies, which it hopes will one day be cheaper than coal.

It is reportedly now keen to tap into the American conscience by seeing energy meters installed in homes across the country to enable householders to see how much power they are using.

Staying close to home, Schmidt said Google was already working to improve the efficiency of its own servers and office buildings, and claims to have identified $5m in building-efficiency investments that will pay for themselves within three years.

Google also predicted that new efficiency standards for computers would "cut energy consumption significantly by 2010".