Google announced that they are putting an investment of $5 million USD — or $3.5 million euros — into one of Germany’s largest solar power plants. The investment is their first renewable energy investment in Europe and though the plans still need approval from the German government, when it is finished it will power about 5,000 homes in the area. The project is slated to be built on land that was once used as training grounds for the Russian military.

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After Google created their own energy subsidiary the company began investing heavily in wind power projects in the United States — including the massive Atlantic Wind Connection that will bring wind power up and down the East Coast.

The announcement of the investment in Germany by Google comes at a time when Germany is wrestling with the future of their renewable energy systems. Following the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear emergency in Japan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a moratorium on all pending nuclear projects and turned away from her promise to keep Germany’s 17 reactors operating into the future. She’s now promising a move away from nuclear and toward other forms of renewable energy. With the momentum of Germany’s energy ideas at the moment, we’re thinking this new solar project will get off the ground pretty quickly and Google will soon be part owner of Germany’s clean energy future.

Via PhysOrg