2012 was a big year for solar, both domestically and globally, with some unlikely players throwing their hats into the ring and upping the ante on achievable power generating capacity. Here's a wrap-up of some of the year's most impactful events in the solar industry, with a little added perspective from some experts in the field.
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Michael Peck still finds it amazing that a tiny area smack in the middle of rural northwest Ohio can have such a large solar footprint.
Granted, since last February, the city of Napoleon has been home to a solar panel-making operation headed by Mr. Peck, chairman of Isofoton North America Inc., an offspring of Spanish solar panel Isofoton.
NAPOLEON, OHIO – With a backdrop of the Isofoton factory floor, the Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA®) today presented a plaque of recognition to Mayor Ronald Behm and the City of Napoleon as American Solar Champions.
With two major solar installations and a growing solar manufacturing facility embedded in a city of less than 10,000 people, Napoleon, Ohio is a hub for solar energy and job creation across the Buckeye State.
[RELATED: Solar Policy in Ohio]
The United States installed more solar panels in 2012 than in any previous year, according to a new report, with residential use of solar power up 70 percent over 2011.
Quick question. Your state has good sunshine, lots of open rooftops, and the cost of solar energy has been falling by 10% per year. Do you think it will take 13 years to double the 10 megawatts (MW) of installed solar power?
Washington University in St. Louis and a consortium of universities, laboratories and industry partners are in the process of launching the Solar Energy Research Institute in India and the United States to coordinate efforts to create low-cost solar cells and systems.
Senate Republicans rolled out a series of big energy measures this week but declined to say whether they would try and move their agenda through in a catchall bill if they regain the Senate majority.
The solar industry has done a spectacular job lowering costs in the past three years, slashing per-watt costs in half. But that price freefall, driven by the massive scale-up of Chinese manufacturers, has put dozens, if not hundreds, of solar companies on the endangered list.
This week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a law meant to reinvigorate the solar industry in the Garden State by requiring utilities to buy more solar energy.
Solar power, which makes up a tiny part of California's overall energy mix, will account for the biggest piece of the state's renewable energy pie by the end of the decade, according to the state's largest utilities.