Solar energy installation capacity grew by 95% in 2016, with utility scale, residential and commercial solar all achieving record growth. Solar installations were 39% of all new 2016 electric capacity in the US, and wind energy 26%. Renewables were the majority of new capacity – blowing away new natural gas plants (29%).
While we have a long way to go, the exponential growth is creating a new paradigm of clean energy jobs – good for the economy, and great for the environment. Read Here!
The solar industry added a new solar job every 10 minutes last year, bringing the workforce to a whopping 260,000 U.S. solar jobs. More than a quarter million workers across all 50 states are busy building a better energy future for all of us. Solar is now the 2nd largest employer in the energy sector, employing more Americans than coal or natural gas. You can download the entire report here:
There is more speculation, more rumors, more nervous people in the renewable energy field right now then ever before in our history. It is refreshing this week to hear of some positive forward thinking in the midst of all the angst. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy boldly announced it’s commitment for it’s SunShot Inititive to cut the cost of solar-generated electricity by 50% between 2020 and 2030. This is a new target continuing SunShot Initiative’s progress in helping the solar industry reach more than 90% of the initiative’s established 2020 goal in just five years. This includes brand new funding opps that will push the cost of solar even further down. Three cheers for the Department of Energy!
Chile has more sun than the US – but, the trends is clear: Solar power came in at 2.91 cents per kwh at a Chilean energy auction this month. That’s the lowest price on record for electricity from sunshine, surpassing a deal in Dubai in May. It’s almost half the price of coal power sold in the same event. It’s the cheapest to date for any kind of renewable energy, and it’s one of the lowest rates ever for any kind of electricity, anywhere.
Here comes the sun! Chile’s sun power
The REVolution has already reached a new level on the west coast….Read here!
Solar energy has been growing for years now. But 2016 could turn out to be one of the biggest yet! Growth is predicted now at 116% New technologies, new regulations, public opinion, green businesses have led to many new models of solar available. Community solar and micro-grids, unheard of just a few years ago are gaining significant momentum. The Hill does a good job of explaining how this is a nationwide phenomena. Read Here.
One of the most important drivers of the economy is jobs. And today with many jobs going overseas Americans need to create more and better jobs for today’s workers. In this week’s Poughkeepsie Journal I had the opportunity to write a column regarding this very issue. Clean energy is one of the answers to this lagging jobs market, very simply clean energy creates clean energy jobs. Clean Energy jobs are at a all time high growth rate, outpacing many other sectors.
We have been seeing more and more solar installations being done on landfills, brownfields… over the past few years. Seems to be catching on. Public Service Electric & Gas Co. in New Jersey has proposed to install a 100 megawatt system. What is particularly significant here is that PSE&G is a utility. Historically new installations have been done by solar companies. One major sticky point however is that the utility is asking for a 9.75% rate of return on it’s investment. And that increase would go to the tax payers of New Jersey. Read here.
The “Million Solar Strong Campaign” has kicked into high gear! With the millionth solar system being installed in the United States, SEIA has decided to try for a whole lot more by starting the “Million Solar Strong Campaign” this week. Environmental Entrepreneurs as well our company EarthKind Energy has signed onto SEIA’s Solar Energy Declaration which clearly states that the solar transformation is here to stay, no doubt of that.