The State of the Solar Industry

The Solar Energy Industries Association has released their Q2 report, and the news is sunny! (oooh, sorry ’bout that.  The pun was too tempting)

The highlights: 832 Megawatts of new solar installed in the second quarter of 2013, the second best quarter for solar, ever.

This brings the US total to 9,400 Megawatts of solar electricity, on pace to reach 10,000MW (10GW) by the end of the year.

To put that in layman’s terms, that’s enough to power 1.5 MILLION homes.  To put it another way, it’s like removing 1.9 Million cars from the road.

Powering 1.5 Million homes, or taking 1.9 Million cars off the road.  With that comparison, we can deduce that ‘going solar’ has a BIGGER environmental impact than buying an electric car, way bigger than buying a hybrid!

Click on SEIA’s infographic for more from their Q2 report:

SMI-Q2-2013-Infographic[1]

Source: SEIA.org

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Why the U.S. Power Grid’s Days Are Numbered – Businessweek

Here’s a recent article from business week proclaiming that the days of the centralized regulated power grid are numbered.  We all know that monopolies are prohibited in the United States, except for areas such as utilities.  Now, as more people combat pollution and rising fuel prices with home-grown solar and geothermal power generation, there is a small yet growing challenge for the monolithic utilities.

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Sound far fetched to you?  Read the article to see why some industry experts think it is coming sooner than you think!

Why the U.S. Power Grid’s Days Are Numbered – Businessweek.

Renewable Energy? Why Not! pt 4

4. Takes jobs away from coal/oil/gas etc.

Proponents of renewable energy like myself will often point out that the growing industry is adding thousands and thousands of new jobs.  But others are quick to counter that these jobs come at the cost of existing jobs in the fossil fuel industry.  This may be true, probably is, but there is some overlap.  When someone gets hired to engineer a new solar/wind project, it doesn’t mean that a coal miner or plant technician is fired.  Of course, the goal of many proponents is to eliminate fossil fuel usage, which would take the jobs with it.


But which would you prefer: working outside, in the fresh air on a wind turbine, or underground in dark coal mine, thousands of feet underground, breathing in coal dust?  I don’t want to offend anyone who has worked for a coal company, but some jobs are better than others. Remember the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster in 2010? 38 dead.  Or the Sago Mine disaster in 2006 with 12 dead?  I certainly wouldn’t want to work in a coal mine.  They are dangerous and hazardous to your health, and negligent companies managing them aren’t making anything better.  So maybe we can replace them with better jobs.  Now, I don’t want to tell anyone that they have to retrain for a new job, but as the workforce ages and retires, maybe instead of hiring new people to replace them, we replace them with cleaner, healthier, safer jobs.  Just a thought.