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$6-billion solar industry logs another record year

Solar The solar industry seems to have turned in yet another record-breaking year in 2010, as the total market value of the sector spiked 67% to $6 billion from $3.6 billion in 2009, according to an annual report.

Companies installed 878 megawatts of photovoltaic solar and 78 megawatts of concentrating solar power facilities, enough to power about 200,000 homes, according to trade group Solar Energy Industries Assn. and GTM Research on Thursday.

Solar water heating and solar pool heating systems also showed up in 65,000 homes and businesses.
Seven states account for more than three-quarters of the market, led by California’s 27% share, New Jersey’s 14% slice and Florida’s 12% portion.

The upswing was credited to several factors including progress on utility-scale projects and increased activity in states such as New Mexico. Technology expenses have tumbled as the cost of residential photovoltaics dropped 8% in the past year while slipping 11% for commercial installations.

And after a dramatic fight toward the end of the year, the federal stimulus program known as the 1603 Treasury Grant was extended through 2011, prompting developers to install a record 359 megawatts in the fourth quarter alone.


Treasury grant program for renewable energy projects extended by Congress

San Luis Obispo solar project to start construction next year

Genesis solar project in Riverside County gets federal approval

-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo: Homeowner Lefteris Padavos by the solar panels he installed himself on his roof. Credit: Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times

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So many solar cells! This means that the goal of the program headed by the President is slowly being attained.

deBeer, i wish you were right, but 100% of the 1603 stimulus is a giveaway to giant energy cartels, that's the only way it got passed. not a dime goes to those of us who are anxious to participate in the clean energy economy as more than piggy banks for Chevron, NOT EVEN AS PACE LOANS which we requested (NO cost to taxpayers).

the economic benefits of LOCAL democratically owned solar are enormous. a huge number of well-paid, long-term local jobs (twice as many as Big Solar per watt installed), huge reductions in energy bills (so money that was once flooding OUT of communities is remaining to be spent more wisely), improved property values (more than the cost of system immediately), and it is WAY cheaper than remote central station solar, lengthy transmission and the dead publicly-owned wilderness, wasted water and increased GHGs Big Solar hands us...

wouldn't you rather see our economy improve, our air clean up and our grid stabilize than see another century dominated by the pricing and supply manipulations, vulnerability and dead ecosystems Big Energy cause?

Federal stimulus program..Hmm Meaning taxpayers helping to pay for solar to be price competitive. Part of my taxes went on someone roof or possibly to heat their pool instead of them paying full price for something they wanted? Great idea.. Also $6 billion is NOTHING in the scheme of things . Absolutely nothing.


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