Yesterday, at the Renewable Energy Finance Forum in San Francisco, CA, Google announced its addition of a solar energy venture to it’s already substantial renewable energy portfolio. With an investment of $75 million with Clean Power Finance, based in San Francisco, Google has once again proven its commitment to not only expanding its presence into other markets, but more specifically, towards renewable energies. However, is this the kind of innovative thinking which will make Google a pioneer for years to come, or is it simply fool-hearted idealism?

Over the past few years, Google has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to everything from hybrid vehicle initiatives, the world’s largest wind farm, to solar electric generating systems. So far, the return has not been bad: after all, they are not seeing losses though admittedly, they are not seeing the kind of growth that one would like to see with such a large investment. Yet this rings an oddly creepy nostalgia to it: Enron promised the world to revolutionize the world of energies, everything from power plants in India to gambling on the weather. We all know where that lead yet it is not just because of the fraud and deceit behind it: rather, these were executives who were too forward thinking, too eccentric to see the reality staring them in the faces.

To state the obvious, Google is not an Enron. They have an incredibly strong foundation and though they have made large investments into the renewable energies market, they really are only taking small steps compared to the extent of their industry. They are wading into the industry at a fairly cautious pace, a grand idea considering the backfire Obama has received due to the bankruptcy of Solyndra, his “future jobs” dream. Furthermore, it is even greater news to hear that like any smart conglomerate, they are expanding their reach into other industries.

The real test of success, however, will be if these investments continue to grow or simply shrink from where they came. Californians may be eager to escape the power stations that surround them but for more moderates and conservatives, the prices may not match their passions. For now, Google has shown a boldness that can only bring success in the future: it’s a gamble betting on solar energy in the current, stagnant economic environment. But a couple years from now, they may find themselves with the winning horse.