's energy czar Dan Reicher says IT will help make us greener

Google (GOOG) may be a search engine giant, but it's also a leading player in alternative energy. Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are extremely keen on promoting clean-energy initiatives. Through the company's non-profit, they've invested indirectly in a number of interesting startups. Google is also developing some of its own technology, including software tools to analyze energy usage for homes and better mirrors for improved solar thermal energy collection. Dan Reicher, a long-time energy expert, heads up's climate and energy initiatives. I got a chance to sit down with him at REFF West, an alternative energy financing conference in San Francisco. Edited excerpts of our conversation follow:

DailyFinance: What is your favorite thing about what Google is doing in the energy space right now?

It's definitely the interaction between energy technology and information technology that I find most exciting. The ability of Silicon Valley through use of its IT expertise to help us solve some of the world's energy problems is very exciting. It's been interesting for me to move from the East Coast, where I didn't have much of an IT focus, and land at Google where IT is so important.