With the price of solar panels falling more than 50 percent last year, what is the impact on the U.S. solar industry as it battles to compete with China?
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When it comes to solar power, more and more Americans are seeing the light.
The U.S. solar industry installed a record number of panels in 2011, more than double 2010, and is likely to see strong growth again this year, according to a new report.
Last year seemed like a dark one for the solar industry: stiff competition from China drove American manufacturers to layoffs and even bankruptcy, while the low price of natural gas and the loss of a critical government subsidy weakened incentives for new solar developments. And then there was the long shadow of Solyndra, whose bankruptcy after receiving federal loans cast a pall over other green-energy endeavors.
Colorado remained fifth in the nation for photovoltaic installations, as the number of megawatts installed jumped 69 percent to 91 megawatts in 2011 compared with 2010, according to a study released today.