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.
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"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.
New solar panels will be installed at the University of Florida by the end of November, reducing the university’s energy costs and serving as a teaching tool for professors and students.
Just a few miles from the shuttered Solyndra plants where 1,100 workers were laid off seven months ago, former presidential candidate General Wesley Clark called for putting the fledgling solar industry at the front of a new U.S. national economic strategy focusing on being a world leader in the production of low cost clean energy.
The solar panels at Bluffsview Elementary School were once such a novelty that people flew in from Chicago just to take a look. The vice principal of the Worthington school was invited to Washington, D.C., to speak about the project.
Clean energy is more than a bright spot in Arizona's economy; it's also increasingly central to our national security.
Sunshine is an economic driver for Arizona. The state "is on the right track," Gov. Jan Brewer declared in October, "when it comes to fostering job growth in the solar industry."
The City of Raleigh, which has long been an innovator in terms of energy leadership, is touting the opening of a brand new solar power facility located on city government property. In addition to LED lighting, electric car chargers, and solar powered lights, the city can now boast of a large solar power facility.