One-third of all Americans who work in solar power live in California, according to an annual survey released Tuesday. And their numbers are growing fast. The solar industry employed 47,223 Californians last year, up 8 percent from 2012, according to the survey from the Solar Foundation, a research and advocacy group. Nationwide, the solar industry employed 142,698 people. And while the rate of solar job growth nationwide was faster than in California, nearly hitting 20 percent last year, the Golden State still dominates the business. "California is, by far, the leader," said Andrea Luecke, the foundation's executive director. "It's not by accident that the solar industry is based there." Most of California's solar jobs, however, focus on panel installation and financing versus research and development efforts to create new technologies. Starting more than 10 years ago, California officials made a concerted push to foster the solar industry. They forced the state's utilities to buy more renewable power and offered rebates to homeowners who bolted solar panels to their roofs. The effort appears to have worked. Most of the country's largest solar companies are based in California, particularly in the Bay Area. The foundation's survey counted 21,653 solar jobs around the bay.
The U.S. filed a second complaint against India’s solar-energy policies at the World Trade Organization, reviving a year-old dispute between the two nations. Today’s action follows a case the U.S. filed in February 2013 at the Geneva-based WTO, saying India’s requirements for locally made components on solar-energy products violate global trade rules. “These domestic content requirements discriminate against U.S. exports” of solar cells and modules, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said today at a news conference in Washington. Officials from the Indian Embassy in Washington didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The U.S., which has supported its own solar-manufacturing industry through loan guarantees, exported $119 million worth of solar-industry gear to India in 2011, and sales have declined since then, according to the U.S. trade office. In 2012, India, the second-largest export market for U.S. solar producers after Japan, plans to expands its solar-manufacturing industry by 20 times by 2020, according to the agency. The U.S. trade office notified India today that it’s requesting consultations at the WTO to resolve the dispute. If the matter isn’t resolved in 60 days, the U.S. can request creation of a special panel at the WTO to hear the case.
Sumitomo Corp. said it installed a power storage system using recycled electric-vehicle batteries near a solar power station in the western prefecture of Osaka. The 600-kilowatt system is the world’s first large-scale power storage system from used EV batteries, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement today. The device uses 16 used batteries. “Over the next three years, the system will measure the smoothing effect of energy-output fluctuation from the nearby,” solar farm, Sumitomo said in the statement. Sumitomo set up a venture with Nissan Motor Co. in 2010 to address the secondary use of EV batteries.
Sunrun and Mainstream Energy Corp. today announced that Sunrun has acquired the residential division of REC Solar, AEE Solar and SnapNrack. The companies represent Mainstream Energy's residential solar sales, design and installation; wholesale distribution; and mounting systems and hardware businesses, respectively. In the commercial market, REC Solar will continue as an independent organization under the legal name REC Solar Commercial Corp. The value of the transaction was not disclosed. "Sunrun pioneered solar service to remove the most significant barriers to going solar. We continue to innovate our business to further drive down costs, increase quality and broaden our reach to consumers so more homeowners have access to affordable home solar," said Lynn Jurich , Chief Executive Officer of Sunrun. "The residential solar market is growing rapidly and this acquisition marks the next step in our multi-channel growth strategy. REC Solar's residential division, AEE Solar and SnapNrack complement our thriving channel business and further enable us to fulfill the enormous market potential for home solar nationwide." REC Solar is a national leader in solar electric system design and installation, with more than 11,000 customers across seven states. Since becoming Sunrun's first installation partner in 2007, REC Solar has helped thousands of homeowners elect solar energy with Sunrun's solar service, which allows homeowners to pay a low rate for clean energy and fix their electric costs for 20 years. "REC Solar is the industry leader in customer satisfaction and high quality construction, while AEE Solar and SnapNrack bring capabilities that allow us to make solar energy affordable for more consumers, provide superior systems and service, and lay the foundation to become a major energy company," Jurich said.
A new $2 million funding program from the Department of Energy is expected to add – yes, add – yet another 1,800 gigawatts of wind power to the already formidable wind resources of the US. That’s something to keep in mind as the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline review process heats up. The idea behind the new taller wind turbine program is to give the US wind industry an assist in developing taller wind turbines, with hub heights ranging from 120 meters up to 140 meters. That’s a big step up from existing technology, which currently goes to the 80-100 meter range, with the average at about 90 meters. As for why a taller wind tower, upper level winds tend to be stronger and steadier. With taller wind turbines, the new program is also expected to open up an additional 237,000 square miles of wind-friendly areas for wind power potential, which is about the size of Texas (the image above compares the area change in square kilometers between the hub height of 96 and that of 140). The areas of the US most likely to benefit from the improved wind technology are mainly located in the Southeast, where alternative energy is starting to find a friendly reception despite pushback by certain legislators from those states.
What we can expect to see is a gradual transition of solar from an alternative energy to a truly cost competitive source of energy that helps counteract rising electricity rates and fuel costs.
This report serves as an overview of gasification technologies processing municipal solid waste (MSW) that includes non-recycled plastic.
The report identifies the "Top 5 Fuel Cell States" - California, Connecticut, New York, Ohio, and South Carolina.
Renewables are on a clear path to commercial viability without subsidies. That is why renewables are projected to be the fastest-growing energy source over the next twenty years.
Lincoln International's Renewable Energy Group is pleased to present the latest Q4 2013 Solar Energy Stock Index Report, which tracks relevant solar company metrics in this growing industry.
As CHP systems can tap into a wide array of fuels to operate including coal, biomass and natural gas, there are few restrictions on where they can be installed.
With supportive policies, we envision the ability to design agricultural landscapes to maximize multiple benefits.
EIA's new tables include capacity factors for individual renewable generating technologies
Next up at the plate as a hot, receptive market for energy storage in North America is New York.
To be on the safe side, the development of alternative energy sources could keep the actuality of long term global warming from happening.
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