General Motors aims to power its operations completely through clean energy sources by 2050, Facebook announces plans for a new data center that will run on 100 percent renewables, and the U.S. Department of Energy dishes out more funding for its SunShot Initiative. Read these stories and more in this week's renewable energy news roundup.
GM Pledges 100 Percent Renewable Energy Power by 2050
General Motors Co. announced it is committing to power all of its global operations using only renewable energy by 2050. The automaker said its goal is to generate or source electrical power for 350 facilities in 59 countries with renewable wind, sun and landfill gas energy over the next three decades. This year, GM expects to have 3.8 percent of electricity use come from renewable resources.
Facebook's New Data Center Will Be Powered by 100 Percent Renewable Energy
Facebook revealed that it plans to open a data center in Los Lunas, New Mexico. The seventh such facility, expected to go online in late 2018, will be equipped with "the latest [Open Compute Project] computers, storage, and network technologies" while also being powered by 100 percent renewable energy. Ken Patchett, Facebook's director of data center operations in the western region, wrote in a post that the Los Lunas facility will be "one of the most advanced, energy-efficient data centers in the world" and that the company is teaming with PNM Resources to leverage New Mexico's solar and wind energy to power the data center.
Navigant Reports Wind Turbine Orders, Capacity in First Half Of 2016
A new report from Navigant Research has found that global wind turbine orders from 11 vendors in 29 countries totaled 13,477 MW in the first half of 2016, finding Vestas to be the top vendor and Europe to be the leading region. Specifically, the report states that Vestas jumped ahead of Siemens to lead all vendors in turbine orders received, with 3,528 MW in capacity. Despite falling to second place, Siemens signed wind turbine orders totaling almost 400 MW more than its total in the second half of 2015.
DOE Announces Another $107M in Solar Funding Under SunShot Initiative
The Department of Energy (DOE) has announced up to $107 million in funding for solar power projects under its SunShot Initiative. The funding includes $42 million to improve photovoltaic performance and reliability and to enable higher market penetration for solar technologies. The DOE is also plans to make $65 million available, subject to Congressional appropriation, for solar research and development projects that could drive down the cost of solar power.