The Arizona-based solar firm First Solar and Apple have begun a cooperation of building a solar farm in the south of San Francisco. Apple has already promised to provide $850 million to the project, the largest deal between the two companies. Indeed, this has drawn massive reports from the media. And what does the cooperation mean?
With this cooperation taken place, shares of the two companies have already risen, with Apple gaining 1.9% and First Solar leaping nearly 5%. This cooperation says that Apple will receive 130 megawatts of the project and the agreement will last for 25 years. In fact, Apple has already built 3 PV power plants and this one is the fourth, which will mainly supply electricity to its headquarters and stores.
Apple's path obviously indicates that solar power has been approved by more people, especially those big figures in the world. Apart from Apple's move, other nations' figures like Modi of India also think solar power should be something of great help, not only because it can generate power but also because it can help protect the environment. With more encouragement and favorable policies, many companies are turning to photovoltaic power including McGraw Hill, Staples, Campbell's Soup, Volkswagen, Walgreens, Safeway and FedEx apart from Apple. Besides, some companies are now doing solar business although their own business has nothing to do with it. Today's PV inverter giant Huawei from China is one among them. Actually its traditional business is making mobile phones.
As solar power has been acknowledged by a larger population, this seems to indicate there is great potential in developing this industry further. Being environmentally friendly is one of its major advantages; and being flexible in use must be another of them. Not only can these power plants be established in the areas nearly big cities, but also they can be built in remote areas where the utility grid cannot reach at all. Indian solar power stations are examples of this kind, and they supply power to people living in the areas that the utility power often cannot have access to. Besides this, as solar technology improves, power can now be generated at home. The solar PV system is the typical representative of it.
However, it needs lots of financial support to develop solar power. Currently, compared with utility grid electricity rates, solar electricity rates might be still more expensive. Oil prices have already slumped, and this will make the traditional electricity generation costs become low. But in the long run solar power will become prominent. At this time solar power development needs strong financial support. Apple's action has totally proved that if proper support is given, the industry will be going on in a favorable condition.