As summer beckons, it seems Americans are thinking more about the stifling cost of energy than about making tracks to the beach.
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As states offer more and more renewable energy tax incentives, small businesses are seeking to take advantage of the situation by getting into the renewable energy business. But, depending on the business' location, the difference between each state's incentives can be dramatic.
Since the 2004 passage of Amendment 37, Colorado has created a vibrant solar energy market spurring nearly $1 billion in clean tech investment, deploying 200 megawatts of solar, and creating thousands of quality jobs at more than 400 Colorado solar companies.
The numbers don't lie - 2011 was a banner year for solar energy in America as consumers saw the cost of installing solar drop by 20 percent in just a single year.
Brendan O'Connor, born in Ireland, says he found a pot of gold on the sunny roof of his West Boylston Street restaurant when he installed 32 solar panels there four years ago.
Solar panel companies are excited about a decision they say is good for business.
It was a historic year for the United States solar energy industry in 2011.
The American solar industry's months-long push to extend then revive the popular 1603 Treasury grant has ceded ground to a parallel strategy to keep Congress from repealing the Investment Tax Credit.
U.S. solar developers are luring cash at record rates from investors ranging from Warren Buffett to Google Inc. (GOOG) and KKR & Co. by offering returns on projects four times those available for Treasury securities.