Double down: HP sets aggressive renewable energy goal, Dell offers some friendly advice

Hewlett-Packard has set a goal of doubling its purchases of alternative energy to 8 percent by 2012, but the company has yet to put a stake in the ground regarding carbon neutrality. And, honestly, I find that rather realistic and refreshing of them.

Hewlett-Packard has set a goal of doubling its purchases of alternative energy to 8 percent by 2012, but the company has yet to put a stake in the ground regarding carbon neutrality. And, honestly, I find that rather realistic and refreshing of them. I mean, honestly, will ANY company that uses power really EVER be carbon-neutral. On paper perhaps ...

So here's the plan: HP has revealed a master plan of reducing its energy consumption and greenhouse emissions worldwide by 16 percent below its consumption levels in 2005. It expects to do this by 2010.

On the renewable front, HP purchased 61.4 kilowatt hours of renewable energy and energy credits in 2007, which was a 350 percent increase over the previous year. Its San Diego solar project, which includes 1.1 megawatts of capacity and 6,256 panels, is now up and running. It will probably save HP about $750,000 next year and provide about 10 percent of the power needs for the local facility. (About 600 local HP employees have requested information regarding a home installation from the installer, SunPower, and 60 of those installations are already completed or under way.)

Sticking with solar a moment, HP Labs is working on technology with an eye to improving the efficiency of solar cells by more than 20 percent using nanowire photonics. That means more power at a potentially lower cost.

The company is not saying much about how it will increase its renewable energy portfolio moving forward, but solar and wind will both be part of it. HP already procures about 19.9 million kilowatt hours of wind energy from wind farms in Texas for its Austin data centers. That's about 20 percent of the power consumed by those facilities. It's also eating its own dogfood in those locations by using the HP Dynamic Smart Cooling System, which eeks out between 20 percent to 40 percent energy savings.

Finally, HP is introducing some more special-edition computers that cut way back on packaging and that rate in the Silver level for the Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT). The models are the HP Pavilion Verde Special Edition a6645f and the HP Pavilion Phoenix Special Edition a6655f.

Just as it would respond to a competitive product positioning pitch, Dell has some thoughts of its own about its rival's proclamation this week. It offers this blog entry as its response. IBM?

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