Renewable Energy for Apple’s Data Center by 2013
Apple (AAPL) plans to power its main U.S. data center entirely with renewable energy by the end of this year. They would be doing this to address longstanding environmental concerns.The Cupertino maker of the iPhone and iPad will avail the services of San Jose-based SunPower (SPWRA) and Sunnyvale startup Bloom Energy to build two solar array installations in and around Maiden, North Carolina. Once finish, the solar farm will supply 84 million kWh of energy annually. The sites will also employ high-efficiency solar cells and an advanced solar tracking system. Later in 2012, Apple also intends to build a third, smaller, bio-gas fuel-cell plant.
PG&E Installed 9 Million SmartMeter™
The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced that 9 million of its customers have availed the upgrade to a SmartMeter™ technology. The SmartMeter allows customers to have access to energy and cost-saving tools such as energy analysis, usage notifications and voluntary rate programs. PG&E can also detect power outages with this new technology. So far, 93 percent of the SmartMeter installations are complete across PG&E territories of Northern and Central California.
The Bill Jacobs Auto Group has opened a new solar charging station in Joliet, IL. There are six solar charging station located in the middle of the Joliet, IL Cadillac dealership and Chevy dealership’s lot. This solar charging station is only one of two in the entire state of Illinois. According to Brad Wise, GM of Bill Jacobs Chevrolet, this new solar charging station can provide great convenience to Chevy Volt drivers. He also hopes that many people will take advantage of this renewable energy to fuel their hybrid cars. The solar charging station is open to all past and present customers as well as those who are interested to purchase a new Chevy Volt.
Saudi Arabia Launches Renewable Energy Programs
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has proposed one of the most massive program of renewable energy by planning to install a total of 54,000 MW of renewable-generating capacity during the next two decades. The renewable energy program is called the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA-CARE). This was announced at a conference in Saudi Arabia earlier this month. The objective of the said program is to generate one-quarter of the Kingdom’s electricity from solar energy alone, while developing a domestic renewable energy industry. The KA-CARE program will begin with two rounds of bidding for solar PV, CSP, wind, geothermal and waste-to-energy capacity and will take place in 2013.
After finding out that Chinese producers were exporting and selling solar cells and panels in the United States for a much lower price than it cost manufacturing and shipping them, the Obama Administration is planning to impose stiff new tariffs, averaging 31 percent, on solar panels made in China. According to the Commerce Department, Chinese companies are improperly flooding the U.S. market with government-subsidized products. Several U.S. solar panel makers, led by Oregon-based SolarWorld, had asked the government to penalize China for dumping low-price products on U.S. markets. However, a majority of U.S. solar panel installers oppose the planned tariffs on Chinese panels. They argued that less expensive imports have helped make solar panels more affordable for U.S. customers.