When it comes to solar power, more and more Americans are seeing the light.
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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.
The U.S. solar energy industry installed a record 1,855 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic (PV) capacity in 2011, more than doubling the previous annual record of 887 MW set in 2010, according to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight report. The record amount of solar installations is enough to power more than 370,000 homes, and represents a 109 percent growth rate in 2011.
Sierra Middle School on Thursday unveiled its $200,000 solar power system courtesy of a PG&E grant that will power about 20 classrooms, lower the campus' overall energy bill and will be used as a catalyst for "green" education.
There's a solar trade war going on inside the U.S., sparked by an invasion of inexpensive imports from China.
California regulators have struck down a controversial charge that would increase fees for some solar customers in California
But let's not kid ourselves -- Solyndra is a sideshow to the real, incredibly exciting story of solar power over the course of this administration.
At a time when everyone agrees on the need to create jobs and stimulate the economy, an idea exists that would bring thousands of jobs to New York while also pumping billions of dollars into the local economy: a committed investment in solar power.