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Published on October 13th, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan


Solar Power Blowing Up in the United States

October 13th, 2010 by  

A new report out by the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) and GTM Research, the inaugural U.S. Solar Market Insight™ report, finds that solar power is going to continue its rapid growth in the United States.

2010 has been the best year ever for solar power in the United States, but much more is expected in the future. “Solar is now the fastest growing energy industry in the U.S., employing nearly 100,000 Americans and generating billions of dollars of economic growth for our economy,President and CEO of the SEIA Rhone Resch writes.

By 2015, as you can see in the graph above, the solar industry is expected to grow several times over, perhaps even reaching a total of 10 GW of installed solar power capacity, enough to power 2 million homes.

“We can install so much solar energy that we will eliminate the need for any new coal or nuclear power plants in the U.S. ever again,” Resch writes.

Total 2010 installations are going to more than double solar power capacity in the US. The baseline estimate is that 944 MW of solar electric capacity will be installed by the end of the year, and the high forecast shows solar capacity rising above 1 GW and reaching 1.13 GW of capacity. At the end of 2009, solar electric capacity was at 441 MW.

“First half solar installations grew beyond expectations as a result of declining prices, continued government support and improving financial conditions.” said Shayle Kann, Solar Managing Director at GTM Research. “In spite of continued macroeconomic woes, the U.S. solar industry is on track to have a record year in 2010 for both installations and manufacturing.”

Clean Energy Creates Jobs and Attracts Businesses

Another recent study out by independent, non-partisan organization Next 10, the 2010 California Green Innovation Index, also details how clean energy such as solar is creating jobs and attracting businesses in California.

California received 40% of global clean tech venture capital in the first half of 2010, $11.6 billion, largely due to its strong clean energy focus.

With clean tech being the top venture capital investment category in the world and investment in this sector soaring in 2010, it is common sense that promoting clean energy in your city, state, or country is a smart thing to do.

It is very clear that clean energy and especially solar energy are on a strong upward rise. That’s good news for the environment, good news for our health, and good news for any economies, small or large, that take the lead in this growing sector.

Of course, that’s one reason why it would makes sense for anyone living in California (not directly benefiting from our out-dated dependence on dirty energy) to vote “No” on Prop 23.

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

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