In a comprehensive, first-of-its-kind study released today, America’s K-12 schools have shown explosive growth in their use of solar energy over the last decade, soaring from 303 kilowatts (kW) of installed capacity to 457,000 kW, while reducing carbon emissions by 442,799 metric tons annually – the equivalent of saving 50 million gallons of gasoline a year or taking nearly 100,000 cars off U.S. highways.
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This was a huge week for fans of clean energy. First, Telsa Motors announced that it would build a new factory in Nevada, employing 6,500 workers. Then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid vowed to hold a vote later this year on green energy tax credits. That important announcement was quickly followed by news that the U.S. solar market hit a major milestone in the second quarter of this year with more than half a million homes and businesses now generating solar energy.
Mark your calendars!
With less than a month to go, the first Solar Power Mid-Atlantic, a new regional event highlighting the strong solar industry in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware, is quickly gaining momentum.
As the old proverb goes, “you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.” But convincing some people of that isn't easy.
In hopes of ending the long-running and costly U.S.-China solar trade dispute, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has urged SolarWorld Americas, LLC to step forward and offer a specific proposal that could serve as the basis for discussions and eventually lead to a negotiated settlement.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “half the truth is often a great lie.” Keep that in mind when you read a recent report prepared for our friends at the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) about Germany’s experience with renewable energy, including solar power.
Here’s the gist of the argument made by the energy consulting firm, Finadvice: Germany’s wholesale markets are suffering from “disequilibrium” because of increased consumer costs. The 86-page report is pretty much a hatchet job on renewables. “In conclusion, the lessons learned in Europe prove that the large-scale integration of renewable power does not provide net savings to consumers, but rather a net increase in costs to consumers and other stakeholders,” according to the report.
Really? That’s the problem with half-truths. Not surprisingly, there’s no mention of the enormous societal costs of the damaging pollution which is caused by burning fossil fuels and undeniably driving climate change.
So what’s the other side of the story – the one utilities fail to mention? In response to that question, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today released a comprehensive study taking an in-depth look at Germany’s solar support programs and how the United States can benefit in the long term from the experiences of the world’s leading solar producer.
When it comes to clean energy and sustainability, solar looks to be a shoo-in one day for the “green” Hall of Fame. Today, more and more sports teams, sports leagues and sports organizations are embracing the advantages of solar energy.
Like many others, I believe the U.S. Department of Commerce’s 2012 and 2014 trade decisions against the Chinese module manufacturers are essentially protectionist in nature.
Two recent developments clearly demonstrate why America remains “bullish” on solar energy. But they’re also vivid reminders of why we need to remain vigilant. As an organization, and as an industry, too much is at stake for us to become complacent. As the old saying goes on Capitol Hill: “What Congress giveth, Congress can taketh away.”
If you listen to many utility executives, distributed solar energy has the potential to destabilize electrical grids and result in huge cost shifts for many American consumers. Well, as the Irish are fond of saying: blarney!
Over the next 12 months, I am going to challenge our SEIA Board and team to articulate a vision and to plan a path to a world where solar is one of the top three energy sources globally. Executing against that vision and path will keep our industry among the fastest-growing in the world today.