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.
- Redwoods are the world's tallest trees.
- Now scientists have discovered they are even bigger than we thought.
- Using laser technology they map the 80-meter giants.
- Trees are a key plank in the fight against climate change.
They are among the largest trees in the world, descendants of forests where dinosaurs roamed.
Pixabay / Simi Luft<p><span>Until recently, measuring these trees meant scaling their 80 meter high trunks with a tape measure. Now, a team of scientists from University College London and the University of Maryland uses advanced laser scanning, to create 3D maps and calculate the total mass.</span></p><p>The results are striking: suggesting the trees <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">may be as much as 30% larger than earlier measurements suggested.</a> Part of that could be due to the additional trunks the Redwoods can grow as they age, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a process known as reiteration</a>.</p>
New 3D measurements of large redwood trees for biomass and structure. Nature / UCL<p>Measuring the trees more accurately is important because carbon capture will probably play a key role in the battle against climate change. Forest <a href="https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/09/carbon-sequestration-natural-forest-regrowth" target="_blank">growth could absorb billions of tons</a> of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.</p><p>"The importance of big trees is widely-recognised in terms of carbon storage, demographics and impact on their surrounding ecosystems," the authors wrote<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank"> in the journal Nature</a>. "Unfortunately the importance of big trees is in direct proportion to the difficulty of measuring them."</p><p>Redwoods are so long lived because of their ability to <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cope with climate change, resist disease and even survive fire damage</a>, the scientists say. Almost a fifth of their volume may be bark, which helps protect them.</p>
Carbon Capture Champions<p><span>Earlier research by scientists at Humboldt University and the University of Washington found that </span><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112716302584" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Redwood forests store almost 2,600 tonnes of carbon per hectare</a><span>, their bark alone containing more carbon than any other neighboring species.</span></p><p>While the importance of trees in fighting climate change is widely accepted, not all species enjoy the same protection as California's coastal Redwoods. In 2019 the world lost the equivalent of <a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation-and-forest-degradation" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">30 soccer fields of forest cover every minute</a>, due to agricultural expansion, logging and fires, according to The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).</p>
Pixabay<p>Although <a href="https://c402277.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/publications/1420/files/original/Deforestation_fronts_-_drivers_and_responses_in_a_changing_world_-_full_report_%281%29.pdf?1610810475" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the rate of loss is reported to have slowed in recent years</a>, reforesting the world to help stem climate change is a massive task.</p><p><span>That's why the World Economic Forum launched the Trillion Trees Challenge (</span><a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a><span>) and is engaging organizations and individuals across the globe through its </span><a href="https://uplink.weforum.org/uplink/s/uplink-issue/a002o00000vOf09AAC/trillion-trees" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Uplink innovation crowdsourcing platform</a><span> to support the project.</span></p><p>That's backed up by research led by ETH Zurich/Crowther Lab showing there's potential to restore tree coverage across 2.2 billion acres of degraded land.</p><p>"Forests are critical to the health of the planet," according to <a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a>. "They sequester carbon, regulate global temperatures and freshwater flows, recharge groundwater, anchor fertile soil and act as flood barriers."</p><p><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Reposted with permission from the </em><span><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/03/redwoods-store-more-co2-and-are-more-enormous-than-we-thought/" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a>.</em></span></p>
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