It’s a fact that in just 90 minutes enough sunlight strikes the earth to provide the entire planet's energy needs for one year. Harnessing this amount of energy will require more research, design and innovation, but with the ability to store just a fraction of this power, we could revolutionize the energy industry. This is exactly the mission that the Department of Energy’s new Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar PV (SHINES) is undertaking.
You are here
During President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address last night, he touted the historic growth of clean energy in America and how solar is leading the way to a future that is powered by 21st century technologies.
This year will go down as a banner year for solar energy. We expect new solar installations to reach a record-breaking 7.4 gigawatts (GW) by year’s end. And yet, the 2015 record is already looking like a distant memory, compared to what is to come. America’s solar boom is far from busting. In fact, solar will quadruple in size from just over 24 GW of total capacity to nearly 100 GW by 2020. By that point, there will be enough solar installed to power 20 million American homes.
The event was held at Highland Brewing Company, which alone has a 325-kilowatt solar array capable of powering the entire brewery. A variety of community, industry and government leaders spoke at the event, including Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry. Representatives from the offices of Republican Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, as well as for Republican Gov. Pat McCrory also came to the event.
Throughout the first three quarters of this year, 30 percent of all new electric generating capacity brought on-line in the U.S. came from solar, according to a new report today from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
The U.S. government’s official source for tracking monthly electricity markets data has not been counting nearly one third of America’s solar electricity generation —until now. Starting this month, the Energy Information Administration’s monthly reporting will include estimates of distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) generation by state.
Choosing to go solar is a surefire way for companies to take action on climate, but it’s also a smart business decision.
Keep an eye on Iowa and the American heartland as we close out this year and look to reap rewards for the whole state next year with our most abundant crop: the sun.
I am proud to be a veteran and to work in an industry that fights for the future of this country. I work in an industry that supports veterans and provides a great career when their military service ends.