Google's influence over so much of our lives took an exponential leap forward yesterday when it announced it will be getting into the renewable-energy business through a programme that aims to cut dependence on fossil fuels.

The specific target of the project is coal, hence the name - the ' Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal' initiative, AKA RE

Change is coming soon

First of many lofty goals for Google is to produce one gigawatt of energy that is cheaper than coal within "years, not decades." That amount of electricity can power a city the size of San Francisco, according to Google.

As to why the company is taking this route, co-founder Larry Page explained: "We have gained expertise in designing and building large-scale, energy-intensive facilities by building efficient data centers. We want to apply the same creativity and innovation to the challenge of generating renewable electricity at globally significant scale, and produce it cheaper than from coal."

Full details of the current state of the RE