After a first debate that mentioned infamous solar manufacturer Solyndra but offered little substantive energy policy discussion, President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made energy issues a central topic during their second debate on Tuesday night. Solar energy garnered several specific call-outs from both candidates.
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The FedEx Express arm of FedEx Corp. today broke ground on its largest solar panel project to date, which will be mounted on the rooftops of its three distribution facilities at Newark Liberty International Airport.
The price of solar panels continues to drop, making solar power more cost-effective for mainstream use
Solar power has long been known for its environmental benefits, but as the technology becomes more affordable, it's taken on mainstream use in homes, farms and businesses.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar officially announced last week that the Department of the Interior has designated 285,000 acres of public land for solar development on pre-sited zones in the Western states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, as RenewableEnergyWorld.com reported in July.
Making electricity from the sun always appealed to Bruce Monson, an Air Force veteran who lives on a rolling farmstead southeast of Columbia. But when Monson looked to install solar panels on his property, he learned it would cost $22,000. Then he discovered an electric cooperative wanted to charge him $50 a month to connect the panels to a power line.
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.
With the price of solar panels falling more than 50 percent last year, what is the impact on the U.S. solar industry as it battles to compete with China?
When it comes to solar power, more and more Americans are seeing the light.
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.