TRENTON, NJ— The New Jersey solar market hit a new milestone this week when it eclipsed the 1 gigawatt (GW) mark for total installed solar electric capacity. This is enough solar electricity to power 139,000 homes.
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Solar panel installations in the U.S. grew 76 percent in 2012 as the cost of panels and the surrounding equipment continued to fall, according to an annual report by a solar trade group.
U.S. solar panel installations grew 76 percent in 2012 to 3.3 gigawatts, representing a tenth of the global market, led by large-scale projects in the desert southwest, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
Partly driven by an oversupply of cheaper panels from China, the domestic solar market had its best year in 2012, with the growth in installations outpacing that of the global market, according to an annual report to be released Thursday.
U.S. Solar Market Grows 76% in 2012; Now an Increasingly-Competitive Energy Source for Millions of Americans Today
Added Record 3.3 Gigawatts of Capacity, Enough New Capacity to Power More Than 500,000 Homes
The Wall Street Journal
Regarding your editorial "The Solar-Painted Desert" (Aug. 14): Solar is the latest industry the Department of the Interior leases land to, just like mining, cattle ranching and other energy sources—no special treatment has been requested or received. More lands are off-limits to solar (79 million acres) than are available. For perspective, there are 74 million acres leased by on- and offshore oil and gas projects. Also, there are no shortcuts in the National Environmental Policy Act when it comes to project reviews and approvals.
According to Ken Gray, the Rates and Renewables Branch Chief at the Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency, Tyndall AFB, Fla., the array has to be built and generating electricity by the end of the year.
A combination of federal and state tax credits, plummeting equipment prices and an environmentally savvy population has led to a dramatic increase in the number of Wilmington rooftops outfitted with solar panels, according to local installers.
Aiming to create green jobs and make solar energy more affordable for homes and businesses, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a series of bills into effect today, August 17.
Three out of four Americans think the U.S. needs “to start focusing more” on clean-energy sources like wind and solar that require less water than conventional power generation as the country faces its most widespread drought since 1956, according to a think-tank survey.