US Solar Power Glows (and Grows)

Photo by Osha Gray Davidson

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If anyone still doubts that solar power is the future (other than oil barons, coal kings and the jokers in Congress), a new report from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) might change their mind.

In the study released this week, author Larry Sherwood has assembled an impressive collection of data proving that (as Sherwood writes), “Solar markets are booming in the United States due to rising energy prices, strong consumer demand, and financial incentives from the federal government, states and utilities.”

Here are some specifics from the IREC report:

  • The capacity of PV installations completed in 2008 grew by 63% compared with installations in 2007, and the average size PV systems is increasing.
  • Installation growth by capacity was largest in the non-residential sector, but the residential sector continues to dominate the number of installations.
  • Many states reported a doubling of PV capacity installed in 2008 compared with 2007.
  • Installations in California, the dominant U.S. market, increased by 95% in 2008.

 To find how your state fared — solarly-speaking — check appendix ‘C’ on the report’s last page. (Or click here to see that chart by itself.)

Osha Gray Davidson covers solar energy for The Phoenix Sun, and is a contributing blogger for Mother Jones. For more of his stories, click here. This post appeared first in The Phoenix Sun.

 

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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