Thanks to our friend Yann over at SolarWakeup.com we came across this great infographic summarizing the State of U.S. Solar in 2013 and we thought we would share that with our readers along with our observations.
The folks at Greentech Media Research and the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) compiled the report summarizing the State of Solar in the US, and you can download the Executive Summary here. Yet it is their infographic that really fired our imagination.
The graphic notes that “a solar system is installed every four minutes” in the U.S. which is a pretty amazing stat.
We have an even more amazing stat to share that will be part of our new website roll-out this January. While you wait, take a guess: If 2% of the households in America that wanted solar, added solar in 2014, how fast would that be?
Even as other markets around the country grow, California still leads the way. So let’s grow it even faster - how about allocating some of those AB 32 auction funds to refreshing the solar rebate programs around the state - particularly for non-profits?
Despite our progress - 12 GW of total solar capacity installed - we have a long way to go to displace coal. According to the U.S. EIA, as of 2012 there were 310 GW of coal capacity installed, making solar just 3.8% of coal’s share.
The U.S. will hit 13% of global solar installations - a 30-year high - by the end of this year and that share will grow over the next four years.
Of course, we invented this technology, we have abundant insolation resources and the people overwhelmingly want it - so all we need are the proper policies.
As we wrap up 2013 and head into a bright new year, let’s hope that we can push back the naysayers and the “not-so-smart ALECs” of the world and propel solar to reach its rightful dominance.
We have written about the deceptive Prop 23 campaign before; it is the November ballet initiative that seeks to roll back California’s landmark legislation (AB 32) that is driving the development of the renewable energy industry here in the Golden State.
Those of us old enough to remember Watergate remember the admonition: “Follow the Money!” In keeping with that directive, we thought you would be interested to see the latest campaign spending reports from the pro-Prop 23 campaign. Here are the numbers:
Total Contributions to date: $8,910,308.25
Contributions from oil interests: $8,640,268.20 (97%)
Contributions from out of state: $7,965,268.20 (89%)
Valero, Tesoro & Koch Industries: $6,606,273.20 (74%)
Valero = $4,065,636.60
Tesoro = $1,540,636.60
Koch = $1,000,000.00
Out-of-state oil companies and other polluters have contributed nearly $9 million to increase our dependence on fossil fuels - the path backwards, not the way toward progress.
So don’t be fooled - Prop 23 has nothing to do with preserving jobs, and everything to do with preserving the profits of out-of-state oil interests.
Please, vote No on Prop 23!
If a ballot initiative is known by the company it keeps, we should be just a teeny bit suspicious of Proposition 23, the Nov. 2 measure designed to eviscerate California’s new greenhouse gas regulation. The driving force behind the initiative is the oil industry, which has contributed more than $2.3 million to getting it passed. The biggest single contributor is San Antonio-based Valero Energy ($1.05 million, according to the latest state campaign disclosures), with San Antonio-based Tesoro Corp.in second place with $525,000.
So begins the latest piece from Michael Hiltzik at the LA Times and he is, once again, on to something. Just as with Prop 16 - the misleadingly labeled “Taxpayers Right to Vote Act” that was actually the “Protect Pacific Gas & Electric’s Monopoly” measure, Hiltzik reveals who is behind Prop 23 and explains why their motives might not be consistent with their rhetoric.
As folks who read this blog surely know, AB 32 is the California law that seeks to reduce our contribution to greenhouse gas emissions while making the state more attractive to green businesses (like this one) that represent the state’s economic future. Given that transportation is the single largest source of GHG emissions in the state, it is not surprising that oil companies might be concerned about a requirement to substantially reduce those emissions. Now the Texas oil companies seeking to block AB 32 may not be interested in hastening the emergence of a renewable, non-fossil-fuel based economy, but surely the rest of us are. Hopefully the voters will see through the deception and reject Prop 23, just as they rejected Prop 16 last month.
If you needed any more incentive than you already had, perhaps this will help. Today the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA) released a study of world-wide climate data and concluded that “Global warming is undeniable.” Analyzing data collected in 48 countries by more than 300 scientists, the NOAA report - titled State of the Climate in 2009 - concluded that “the past decade was the warmest on record and that the Earth has been growing warmer over the last 50 years.”
Apart from the climate change implications of implementing AB 32, it should be remembered that burning fossil fuels - particularly the gasoline peddled by those Texas oil companies - contributes to the creation of smog here in the LA Basin. Cutting back on those emissions will make all of us healthier, particularly those with asthma and other respiratory conditions. Indeed, when I was a child growing up in Alhambra during the 60’s, after lunchtime recess my classmates and I would come back to the classroom and cough repeatedly - such was the state of the air that I was breathing as a boy. We should not forget that the tremendous improvements in air quality here in LA came over the objections of the very same interests that now tell us we cannot afford to implement AB 32.
But they were wrong 40 years ago, just as they are certainly wrong now.