Solar energy got a big boost yesterday as President Obama announced more than 300 private and public sector commitments to create jobs and cut carbon pollution by advancing solar deployment and energy efficiency.
The President announced new executive actions:
- Invest $2 billion in energy efficiency investments in Federal buildings
- Cut carbon pollution by more than 380 million metric tons using smarter appliance. This is equivalent to taking 80 million cars off the road for one year – and will save businesses nearly $26 billion on their energy bills.
- Create training programs at community colleges across the country that will assist 50,000 workers to enter the solar industry by 2020.
The commitments represent more than 850 megawatts of solar deployed – enough to power nearly 130,000 homes – as well as energy efficiency investments that will lower bills for more than 1 billion square feet of buildings.
In his announcement President Obama noted that there are a number of commercial sector leaders committed to increase onsite solar generation at their facilities and within their supply chains:
- Wal-mart commits to double the number of onsite solar energy projects at U.S. stores, Sam’s Clubs, and Distribution Centers by 2020, as part of their commitment to drive the production or procurement of 7 billion kWh of renewable energy by the end of the decade.
- Kaiser Permanente commits to increase its onsite generation capacity in 2014 with additional solar installations at numerous locations, including their new Oakland Medical Center, the Hidden Lake Medical Offices in Colorado, and at various Hawaii sites; and is investigating adding as much as 40 megawatts of onsite solar power capacity through installations at dozens of our medical campuses throughout California.
- Ikea commits to use renewable energy generation at their new U.S. IKEA store locations, when feasible, with a focus on evaluating the viability of using solar and geothermal generation. Ikea is also announcing that their Miami, Florida store, which will open in summer 2014, will be their 40thUS location with solar PV.
- Apple, already running its data centers on 100% renewable energy, is now building a 2.8 million square-foot headquarters which will also run entirely on renewables, including 16 MW of rooftop solar. Apple has committed to powering all its facilities with green energy sources and has already achieved 94% of that goal.
- Clif Bar is launching their 50/50 by 2020 initiative, asking their supply chain partners to use green power –including solar --for the electricity used to make their ingredients, packaging and products. Their goal is to have 50 key supply chain partners transition to at least 50% green power by 2020.
- Yahoo is committing to add a solar installation to their Sunnyvale headquarters by early 2015 to complement their efforts to source from clean energy.
- Google is announcing a $1 million prize to develop the next generation of power inverters, enabling solar power in more homes and helping bring electricity to the most remote places on Earth.
For more details on the plan click here.