2012 was a big year for solar, both domestically and globally, with some unlikely players throwing their hats into the ring and upping the ante on achievable power generating capacity. Here's a wrap-up of some of the year's most impactful events in the solar industry, with a little added perspective from some experts in the field.
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Michael Peck still finds it amazing that a tiny area smack in the middle of rural northwest Ohio can have such a large solar footprint.
Granted, since last February, the city of Napoleon has been home to a solar panel-making operation headed by Mr. Peck, chairman of Isofoton North America Inc., an offspring of Spanish solar panel Isofoton.
NAPOLEON, OHIO – With a backdrop of the Isofoton factory floor, the Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA®) today presented a plaque of recognition to Mayor Ronald Behm and the City of Napoleon as American Solar Champions.
With two major solar installations and a growing solar manufacturing facility embedded in a city of less than 10,000 people, Napoleon, Ohio is a hub for solar energy and job creation across the Buckeye State.
[RELATED: Solar Policy in Ohio]
The United States installed more solar panels in 2012 than in any previous year, according to a new report, with residential use of solar power up 70 percent over 2011.
Quick question. Your state has good sunshine, lots of open rooftops, and the cost of solar energy has been falling by 10% per year. Do you think it will take 13 years to double the 10 megawatts (MW) of installed solar power?
A team led by the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA) has launched the Solar Friendly Communities initiative, which is designed to help streamline permitting for solar energy installations.
On Tuesday San Diego-based Borrego Solar Systems announced the completion of a 3.4 megawatt solar plant at Edwards Air Force base, which is located near Lancaster, California. The photovoltaic system consists of three single-axis tracking units mounted to the ground.
GE Energy Financial Services, part of General Electric (GE.N), said on Wednesday it bought a stake in a large U.S. solar power project for $100 million, bringing its investments in the sector to $1.4 billion in the last year.
Hundreds of start-ups are presenting advanced energy technologies at a Department of Energy conference this week. Their early-stage efforts are funded by a government grant program, called ARPA-e, but what happens next is a difficult question.
As governments around the world tinker over how best to support solar energy, a number of large corporations have thrown their weight behind the renewable resource. These moves could potentially shift the momentum driving the solar industry away from the public sector and onto private enterprise.