Scheduled to take the stage at Google's latest Zeitgeist gathering are CEO Eric Schmidt and General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt. The plan is to announce a partnership which "is likely to focus on adding network intelligence to the electric grid and improving capacity," according to Portfolio. The idea is to improve electricity-infrastructure efficiency through more advanced networking technology, presumably resulting in better service and lower carbon-dioxide pollution by reducing demand through conservation and therefore burning less coal. Of course, for now it just means more lobbyists in the Capitol and possibly more money for research and development. What does Google want in all this, besides good environmental press?GE owns vast rights of way for the electrical grid, which could potentially aid Google's efforts to build their own Internet backbone infrastructure — even over the transmission lines themselves. And of course, less demand for electricity combined with stable supply means cheaper juice for Google's giant datacenters. The real question is, what's in this for Immelt and GE? (Photos by AP/Phelan M. Ebenhack, Mark Lennihan)
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