Some indications that renewable energy is catching on:
New Mexico Passes Aggressive Clean Energy Legislation
In a move sure give a major boost to renewable energy in New Mexico, the State's Governor Bill Richardson signed legislation making it mandatory for utilities to source a certain percent of their energy from renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and hydropower. Not only will New Mexico join a growing list of other states stepping forward and calling for clean energy, but it will be among the more aggressive in its pursuit.
Sharp Solar's US Facility Ramps Up Production
Sharp Solar announced a range of installations using solar modules that were manufactured at Sharp's U.S. solar panel manufacturing facility. The plant opened in Memphis five months ago to meet the increasing demand for solar energy in the U.S.
The solar manufacturing facility, based at Sharp Manufacturing Company of America, is assembling 165-, 167- and 185-watt solar panels for residential and commercial installations. Current annual capacity is 20 MW, all focused on manufacturing solar products for the domestic solar market.
Global Wind Power Growth Continues
The global wind power industry installed 8,133 Megawatts MW in 2003, according to figures released by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), bringing the world's total wind power generating capacity to 39,294 MW.
The new wind sector investment is worth Ã½8 billion, (US$9.7 billion) up from Ã½6.8 billion (US$8.3 billion) in 2002. The total capacity of 39,294 MW provides enough to power the equivalent of 19 million average European households, or 47 million people.
And perhaps the best indication that renewable energy has arrived--major corporations are starting to buy up renewable energy companies.
Sale of AstroPower to GE Energy Approved
Just a couple years after snatching up Enron Wind at bargain basement prices, US industrial heavyweight, General Electric is getting into the solar business with another low cost renewable energy acquisition. AstroPower will be sold to GE Energy now that the US Bankruptcy Court presiding over the beleaguered solar company's Chapter 11 proceedings approved the sale.