Google is discontinuing seven projects including the company's Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal initiative that was launched in 2007.

The initiative was designed to help bring down the cost of renewable energy by -- among other things -- having Google engineers conduct research to help lower the price of solar and wind energy.

At this point, other institutions are better positioned than Google to take this research to the next level, read Tueday's posting on the company's official blog.

The initiative helped sponsor the first geothermal map of the United States and invested millions into the nation's largest solar plant, which would generate 392 megawatts of solar energy. The plant is scheduled to be completed and online by 2013.

Over the last few years, we've seen a lot of progress in clean energy, said Google. We're excited that some technologies are so quickly approaching cost competitiveness with traditional forms of energy in parts of the U.S. and the world.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company has made its research available via its blog and plans to publish its inventions in the future as well, for the benefit of the renewable energy industry.

Among the other projects the company is discontinuing is Google's bookmark sharing feature which will end Dec. 19; Google's Friend Connect for non-blogging sites effective March 1, 2012; Google Gears effective Dec. 1; Google's Search Timeline; Google Wave, which by Jan 31, 2012 will be read-only and then turned off April 30; and Google's Knol feature, which enabled experts to collaborate on in-depth articles online.