ROCKFORD, Minn. -- David Schmidt has been intrigued by the idea of generating power from the sun for a long time, but he had never taken the next step.
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In the cleantech sector, pretty much everyone knows the acronym RPS, for Renewable Portfolio Standards. Since the first RPS policy in the U.S., implemented in Iowa in the late 1990s, 30 states have passed similar policies to promote the installation of renewable energy projects and expedite penetration (overcoming the ambivalence or outright opposition of utilities) of renewable energy in electric power supply.
"For most of these states, they're looking at it for economic development and job creation," Ghassemi said, underscoring the reasons why solutions such as cost incentives and utility quotas haven't helped states like New Mexico catch up to California and New Jersey, an unlikely solar leader.
The big question for any homeowner considering installing solar power is a simple one: How quickly will the system pay for itself?
The short answer: It depends on where you live.
Residents here probably won't notice that their water and sewage treatment systems will soon be powered by fields of solar panels but a project to convert the plants is nearing completion.
Politicians on all sides of the nation's energy debate can find things to ponder in a new poll that suggests Americans are inclined to develop natural gas resources and build a disputed oil pipeline from Canada, but also want the government to support renewable energy.
While large solar farms are cropping up in the area, smaller projects for homes and businesses are also becoming more common.
If the United States is to pursue an "all of the above" energy policy, Colorado will be the model for the nation, said Gov. John Hickenlooper, speaking Tuesday at the Global New Energy Summit at The Broadmoor.
New York City has tripled its production of solar power by completing the installation of panels on 10 city-owned buildings, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday.
It sure didn't seem like the kind of day to be checking out a solar panel array as officials led the way to the roof of the General Motors Toledo Transmission Plant.