Despite all the excitement surrounding solar energy over the last couple of decades, the technology has yet to go mainstream. However, that is slowly starting to change. Perhaps the biggest reason for the slow spread of solar energy has been the high cost associated with converting a household to take advantage of solar energy.
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Distributed generation in the form of wind, landfill gas, and cogeneration got a mention, but solar by far is attracting the most attention from cooperatives and legislators, a panel of experts told the co-op crowd. The panelists also informed co-ops that distributed generation is coming. They were told that it is best to get in front of it and that co-ops should develop their own DG projects.
Solar energy in 2013 removed its training wheels and started competing with traditional energy sources. In the fourth quarter alone, the average weighted price per watt of solar capacity installed dropped by 15%, averaging $2.59 compared to more than $6 in 2010.
In 2013 there was a 47 percent jump in the number of home solar installations in the U.S., and by the end of the year more than 400,000 American homes had solar power. Don Dahler meets one man who uses imagination to help power the change.
Saying it will help to create jobs and expand the use of clean, renewable energy in Massachusetts, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), along with its Solar Heating and Cooling Alliance (SHC), are urging the State Senate to adopt S. 1970, allowing renewable thermal technologies to qualify for the Alternative Portfolio Standard and provide a credit that incentivizes renewable thermal technologies.
Most of the attention may be focused on domestic oil and gas production, but it could be solar power that really helps the United States on its path to energy independence.
Battle lines are being drawn over whether Ohio should scrap its renewable energy standard, which requires power companies to generate a portion of their electricity from renewable sources such as solar and wind.
Apple’s massive solar panel and fuel cell farm are now live and providing clean power for its huge data center in Maiden, North Carolina. By the end of the year 60 percent of the power for the data center will come from these sources.
Solar power will be the second- biggest source of generating capacity added to the U.S. electric grid this year, according to Sharp Corp. (6753)’s Recurrent Energy unit.
The News & Observer
If the General Assembly wants to establish itself as the most business unfriendly, anti-jobs and anti-growth legislature in the nation, it will pass the recently filed bill oxymoronically titled the “Affordable and Reliable Energy Act.”