"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.
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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.
Blue & Green Tomorrow
Six UNESCO World Heritage sites including Qutb Minar, Red Fort and Humayun’s Tomb have been earmarked to receive clean energy installations over the coming months.
The Commerce Department is scheduled to decide in a month whether Chinese solar panels should be subject to an import tariff, after fielding a complaint from domestic manufacturers that the Chinese are illegally subsidizing their solar export market. The department has not said how it will rule.
Solar energy is an alternative energy source that is moving into the mainstream and nothing proves this more than the Solar Decathlon. In these competitions, university students from around the world display family-friendly off-the-grid homes that they design and build themselves.
The people of California have plenty of reason to want to invest in solar power. Aside from its plentiful sunlight, the state boasts some of the country's most stunning natural landscapes. It also suffers from some of the worst air pollution in certain places, with the Rockies to the east trapping emissions in the region.
What's ahead for energy and environment issues in the wake of President Obama's State of the Union address last week?
KB Home, a leading homebuilding company, announced this week that it has started offering solar panels as a standard on its "Built to Order" homes in certain communities in central Florida.