HP invests in wind and solar energy technology

In an effort to reduce its carbon footprint globally, Hewlett-Packard is investing in wind and solar energy in the U.S. and Ireland.

HP signed a contract with SunPower to install 5,000 solar-power panels in its San Diego facility. The installations will cover 10 per cent of the energy used by the facility and save HP US$750,000 in power costs over 15 years, the company said in a news release.

It also signed an agreement to buy wind energy from Airtricity, which has wind farms in the U.S. and Europe. Airtricity will provide wind energy to HP’s Ireland facilities in 2008, an effort that will save the company $40,000 for fiscal 2008. The investment will reduce HP’s carbon-dioxide emissions by 40,000 tons, and make 90 per cent of HP’s energy use in Ireland renewable, the company said.

Advanced Micro Devices already has a facility in Texas powered completely by renewable energy.

In the face of increased power demand by hardware and data centers, many companies are focused on reducing power consumption and going green, Christopher Mines, analyst at Forrester Research, wrote in a May report. System builders like HP, IBM and Dell are pouring significant resources into building recyclable IT devices and energy-efficient manufacturing operations, according to Mines.

Companies are also developing calculators, benchmarks and techniques for customers to measure and reduce power consumption, Mines wrote. IBM recently announced the Systems Director Active Energy Manager, an energy management package that monitors power consumption, and makes adjustments in systems to improve energy efficiency and reduce power consumption costs. Last month, it announced a mainframe energy gauge to measure typical energy consumption data by its System z9 mainframe.