SunPower Reports $84.2M Q2 Loss
SunPower, a manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells and solar panels for residential, commercial customers and utilities has reported a second-quarter loss of $84.2 million, or 71 cents a share. The company had revenues of $596 million, compared with $494 million in the first quarter of 2012. In May, the San Jose-based company lowered their annual revenue forcast from between $2.6-2.8 billion to around $2.4 billion. SunPower is yet another company who is experiencing extra inventory that has driven down prices, thanks in large part to softening demand in Germany and other parts of Europe, and on-again, off-again federal support for clean energy in the United States. However, one potential opportunity for strong growth seems to be coming from the company’s new leasing program. Launched last year, the solar lease allows homeowners to put solar panels on their roofs for no money down. This leasing plan has been taken advantage of by more than 10,000 customers and SunPower expects this financing option to potential represent approximately 25 percent of the company’s business in the next few years.
Union Pacific Railroad To Invest $20 Million In Emissions-Reducing Train Technology
Union Pacific Railroad has announced a $20 million commitment to test new technology designed to reduce diesel emissions from freight locomotives in California. 25 different locomotive prototypes, which will each have a range of approximately 200 miles, will go through a series of emissions-reducing technology tests. Since 2000, Union Pacific has invested more than $6.5 billion to purchase locomotives that meet the U.S. EPA’s Tier 4 locomotive emissions standards for new locomotives (which take effect in 2015) and an additional $200 million to clean up older locomotives in the fleet that have high emissions outputs.
Salazar Announces Plans To Keep Half of the National Petroleum Reserve Off Limits
DOI Secretary Ken Salazar has officially announced that he will be allowing for new drilling on half of the nearly 23 million-acre National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska while restricting the use of the rest of the land. This announcement was part of a detailed strategy to manage the reserve.
Oil & gas pundits are not pleased with the announcement. They are that it will hinder their ability to take advantage of the country’s hydrocarbon resources. Environmentalist couldn’t be more pleased. Nearly 3 million acres of the reserve is under lease, but production projects have yet to take place. Under Salazar’s plan, 11.8 million acres will be made available for development.