For decades, there's been a lot of buzz going around regarding the lack of funding in schools across the U.S. All too often, especially in today's volatile economic environment, education budgets are viewed as more of a burden to the overall government budget rather than an important investment in tomorrow's leaders. As a result, programs in early childhood education continue to be cut more and more due to a lack of funding.
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We don’t think much about pitch pine poles until storms like Hurricane Sandy litter our landscape with their splintered corpses and arcing power lines.
It seems that nearly weekly we hear more good news on the solar energy front. Today, the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research released their Solar Market Insight Report for Q3 2012, with a summary of accomplishments year to date. The progress is impressive and would have been unimaginable just five years ago. Furthermore, the growth is expected to continue for the next several years, jumping from 3.2 GW in 2012 to 7.8 GW by 2015. Some highlights from the report:
The number of solar installations grew strongly in the nation’s residential, commercial and utility sectors in the third quarter, largely as a result of falling costs, a federal investment tax credit and state programs that support renewable energies, the solar industry’s main trade group reported on Tuesday.
Developers installed 684 megawatts of solar panels in the U.S. in the third quarter, 44 percent more than a year earlier, as residential projects rose to a record, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
SunPower Corp. (SPWR) has signed a power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric or PG&E for delivery of the 100-megawatt (AC) Henrietta Solar Project in Kings County, Calif. According to the company, the project is likely to create nearly 200 jobs during construction and inject $72.7 million into the local economy.
Envision Solar International announced on Thursday that one of its Tracking Solar Trees®, which includes a SunCharge™ electric vehicle charging station as its trunk, will be going up at GM’s Milford Proving Ground.
The solar-power business is expanding quickly in the U.S., helping lift the cloud that has surrounded the industry since the demise of Solyndra LLC a year ago. But the growth isn't coming from U.S. solar-panel manufacturing, despite the money and rhetoric devoted to the industry by the Obama administration. Instead, it is in installations of largely foreign-made panels, whose falling price has made solar more competitive with other forms of power.
A previously approved plan that will allow many city-owned facilities to be partly powered by the sun saw a new partner added to the contract Tuesday night.
The U.S. Army is currently in the experimental phase of an alternative energy program that could make the military a little less reliant on fossil fuels. Out of the laboratory and into the field, the Army’s program SAGE includes innovative technologies, such as solar panels, and other measures that are gradually being introduced to various base camps to test their efficiency limits and personnel capacities.