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Solar Installations Soar to Second-Best Quarter Ever
The U.S. solar energy industry set a record for new residential projects in the third quarter of this year and nearly set a new one for overall installations.
Data released today by the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) shows that there were 930 megawatts (MW) installed from July to September. That's the second-best quarter in the country's history, behind the fourth quarter of 2012 (1,311 MW). This year's third-quarter numbers represent a 20-percent increase from the second quarter and a 35-percent improvement from the same period of 2012
The residential sector finished at its highest level of all time, with 186 MW.
SEIA predicts that the U.S. will experience another first by the year's end—besting Germany in new solar photovoltaic (PV) installations.
“Without a doubt, 2013 will go down as a record-shattering year for the U.S. solar industry,” Rhone Resch, SEIA president and CEO, said in a statement. “We’ve now joined Germany, China and Japan as worldwide leaders when it comes to the installation of new solar capacity.
"This unprecedented growth is helping to create thousands of American jobs, save money for U.S. consumers, and reduce pollution nationwide."
Along with California and Hawaii, SEIA listed Arizona as the most economically attractive places for homeowners to go solar despite the recently passed fee. The organization says the non-residential sector will remain flat after sector downturns in New Jersey and Hawaii. Growth in Tennessee, Arizona and Massachusetts offset the impact of the lagging states.
Installation costs dropped by 2 percent in Arizona, California and New Jersey during the quarter. Non-residential system prices fell 6.1 percent, year-over-year, from $4.22 per watt to $3.96 per watt.
The report, U.S. Solar Market Insight: 3rd Quarter 2013, forecasts just over 5 gigawatts of PV and concentrating solar power to be installed by the end of 2013. Cumulative solar capacity has already surpassed 10 GW. SEIA expects more than 400,000 solar projects to be operating across the country.
“Solar is the second-largest source of new electricity capacity in the U.S. this year, trailing only natural gas," Shayle Kann, vice president of research at GTM, which conducted the report with SEIA.
"As solar continues its march toward ubiquity, the market will require continued innovation, efficiency improvement and regulatory clarity. But already the groundwork has been laid for a mainstream solar future."
Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.
"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."