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Google, everyone's favorite search-engine monopoly, has spent $10,739,521 on three geothermal power projects, including investments in AltaRock Energy, Potter Drilling and a grant for the geothermal labs at Southern Methodist University. The idea? Dig a hole two to six miles deep, pump it full of water and then use the steam produced by the heat to power a turbine (and, presumably, capture the steam in order to recycle the water). It adds geothermal power to wind and solar generation projects funded through's project to generate renewable energy that's cheaper per kilowatt-hour than power generated through burning coal. All in an effort to make sure that consumer markets can continue apace, because heaven help us if we had to actually conserve energy. (Photo by World Island Info)