Prime Time for Real Power

Carly Rixham editor photoWe have recently reached some exciting milestones in renewable energy. In many parts of the world, solar energy from photovoltaics (PV) is now the same price or even cheaper than fossil fuels (and that’s not counting the environmental costs of the fossils). Over 30 countries have already reached grid parity even without subsidies, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). This year could really be the tipping point in widespread solar adoption.
The PV industry now employs the largest share of workers in the U.S. power generation field. According to a new report from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), solar employment now surpasses that of coal, gas and oil.
February’s release of The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census showed the American solar workforce is growing at an unprecedented pace; now, one out of every fifty new U.S. jobs is in the solar industry. Read more on page 7.
The DOE found that solar employment growth outpaced the overall U.S. economy by 17 times; it increased by over 51,000 jobs, for a total of 260,077 U.S. solar workers. Despite a few set backs, 2016 was the most successful year to date for solar, with predictions by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) that residential PV will continue year over year growth. PV is the world’s fastest-growing energy, especially with homeowners, with solar installations expected to exceed two million next year.
Ford Motor Co. recently announced the addition of electric and hybrid F-150 pickup trucks and Mustangs to its fleet. These market-driven innovations are slowly but surely becoming commonplace. Last night in Boulder I parked behind a brand new Tesla, as passers-by stopped to admire its future-esque falcon wing doors.
Humanity recently took our wings to new heights achieving the first around-the-world solar flight. That’s right, a trip around the globe powered by crystal clean sun beams. That’s real power. Check out the story on
page 40.
Flying over land, one has the opportunity to see solar installations that we often can’t see from the ground. It is inspiring, but it is also makes one realize how little solar there is, considering it is abundant, clean energy.
NREL projects that the continental U.S. could produce 38 percent of its electricity from rooftop solar installations! Yes – at least one in every three households should be solar! Lots of room for growth here. We are only scratching the surface. This year, 2017, is a prime number. We are in our prime — prime time to go solar.




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