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The Future of the American Experiment is in Your Hands
Friday, 09 September 2011 03:20

Summer Energy Stories

Written by  Jeremy Phelps

“The pace of growth really is torrid in that sector,” says Mark Muro, a senior fellow at Brookings Metropolitan Program and a co-author of the report. “This confirms the intuition that these exciting industries really are growing as fast as we think they are.”
As members of Congress and presidential hopefuls focus on job creation and maintenance, here’s another important statistic for them to consider: Sectors like clean energy, green building, and efficient transport employ 2.7 million workers — more than the biosciences and fossil fuel sectors.
And guess what? They pay better than the average job too. Median salaries for cleantech-related jobs are $46,343, or about $7,727 more than the median wages across the broader economy.
These Brookings figures show, yet again, that environmental sustainability isn’t some passing fad or a feel-good exercise, it’s a natural progression of the economy."

Sizing the Clean Economy: A National and Regional Green Jobs Assessment
Mark Muro, Senior Fellow and Policy Director, Metropolitan Policy Program

Besides obviously proving bad for the environment, Paul Krugman points in his blog how Obama's recent (poor) decision on delaying EPA Ozone regulations will also result in a loss of potential jobs.
September 3, 2011
Broken Windows, Ozone, and Jobs

"tighter ozone regulation would actually have created jobs: it would have forced firms to spend on upgrading or replacing equipment, helping to boost demand. Yes, it would have cost money — but that’s the point! And with corporations sitting on lots of idle cash, the money spent would not, to any significant extent, come at the expense of other investment."


The future looks sunny for Solar.

Despite recent headlines and a sinking economy, PV Magazine reports that Solar Growth continues to look strong


"While in many parts of the world the photovoltaic and wider solar industry has had a rocky ride in 2011, in the U.S. it remains one of the strongest growing industries. As the market matures, declining module prices and streamlined project development and installations are behind the growth.

In first quarter 2011 (Q1 2011) 252 megawatts (MW) of grid connected photovoltaics were installed, the report by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research has found, which represents a 66 percent increase over Q1 2010.
The "U.S. Solar Market Insight TM" report, released late last week as the Intersolar North America convection closed, found that the growth in capacity was evident across all three photovoltaic market sectors: residential, commercial and utility. Of these, commercial installations showed the strongest growth."


Solar May Produce Most of World’s Power by 2060
, according to Bloomberg citing an IEA report.

"Solar generators may produce the majority of the world’s power within 50 years, slashing the emissions of greenhouse gases that harm the environment, according to a projection by the International Energy Agency.

Photovoltaic and solar-thermal plants may meet most of the world’s demand for electricity by 2060 -- and half of all energy needs -- with wind, hydropower and biomass plants supplying much of the remaining generation, Cedric Philibert, senior analyst in the renewable energy division at the Paris-based agency, said in an Aug. 26 phone interview.
“Photovoltaic and concentrated solar power together can become the major source of electricity,” Philibert said. “You’ll have a lot more electricity than today but most of it will be produced by solar-electric technologies.”
The solar findings, set to be published in a report later this year, go beyond the IEA’s previous forecast, which envisaged the two technologies meeting about 21 percent of the world’s power needs in 2050. The scenario suggests investors able to pick the industry’s winners may reap significant returns as the global economy shifts away from fossil fuels."

Solar Leasing Programs Increase Access To Clean Energy

By Beth Buczynski at CleanTechnica

"Innovative, community-centric leasing programs might mean solar’s big up-front costs will soon be obsolete.
Solar energy can reduce your carbon footprint and save you lots of money. But installation demands a big chunk of cash that most of us don’t have.
Most of us are familiar with the leasing process in other areas of our lives: we rent apartments, cars, and even power tools or furniture. Solar leasing works in much the same way; instead of purchasing the solar panels that are installed on your roof, you merely rent them. This allows families and businesses to reap the benefits of solar without the painful investment and burden that comes with ownership."

Andrew Burger also at Clean Technica cites a SolarBuzz report that predicts US Solar PV to Double in 2011; Grow 47% a year to 2015:

"The US solar photovoltaic (PV) market will double in 2011, this despite current economic weakness, according to research from Solarbuzz. With a current project pipeline of more than 17 gigawatts (GW), the Port Washington, NY-based research firm foresees the US solar PV market growing to reach as high as 6.4 GW by 2015 depending on the scenario, a constant annual growth rate of 47%"


The full SolarBuzz report can be found at:

Solar Increases Home Property Values

"Research suggests that homeowners with solar PV will recoup the cost of their solar investment upon sale of the home. Homes with PV systems sell for a premium over comparable homes without PV systems, according to a study of home sales in California from 2000-2009 by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Comparing 2,000 solar homes with 70,000 non-solar homes, LBNL found that solar increased the resale value of existing homes by about $6 – $7.7 per watt and new homes by about $2.3 – $2.6 per watt. On average, solar PV added about $5.50 per watt to the home’s resale value.
The study suggests that the premium is comparable to the average net installed cost of the PV system. So, in other words, the system cost will be recouped at sale. In addition, PV owners benefit from electricity cost savings up to the date of sale.
SunRun, a home solar service company based in California, created this infographic based on the study with a link to research on the impact of solar on home values. Long story short, solar creates value."


Wind Power also remains strong.

Global Wind Market Shows Long Term Growth
by Lauren Craig, August 30th, 2011

The U.S. market for wind energy bounced back this year; and now a new study finds that the long-term outlook for the global wind energy market also looks promising. Although the study finds that short-term investment in the sector will remain slow through the end of 2011; investment in the market will return to its previous highs ($34 billion in 2008) by 2012, and increase to more than $68 billion by 2025.
According to IHS Emerging Energy Research’s Global Wind Turbine Markets and Strategies: 2011-2025 report, worldwide installed wind capacity will increase from 188 GW to over 940 GW during this period. Key factors driving this growth will be sustained long-term demand for renewable energy, intensifying competition between Asian and European suppliers, a shift toward larger turbine manufacturing and consolidation of wind turbine buyers.

Global Wind Turbine Markets Absorb Recession’s Hit, Drivers Emerge for Sustained Long Term Investment
Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (August 17, 2011) - Despite the current economic turmoil, the global trend towards greater renewable energy deployment points to a sustained period of wind turbine investment, with  equipment purchases expected to more than double by 2025, according to a new IHS Emerging Energy Research study released by information and analysis provider IHS (NYSE: IHS). 2011 investment levels will fall below their historic 2008 high, but investment will increase from $30 billion in 2010 to more than $68 billion in 2025. This trend corresponds with worldwide installed wind capacity rising from 188 GW to over 940 GW during this forecast period.

"Pricing in the global wind turbine market has undergone rapid shifts in the last two-and-a-half years," said Marc Mühlenbach, Global Wind Energy Advisory service analyst for IHS. "The recession hitting the market in 2009 moved the industry from a seller's to a buyer's market and it remains that way."
Global Wind Turbine Markets and Strategies: 2011-2025 also includes analysis of the strategies of leading and emerging turbine manufacturers, their competitive positioning in the global market, and the challenges they face going forward."

The completeIHS report is available for purchase as well a free study excerpt at:

Two Wind Farms Get NZ Closer to 90% Green
Two huge wind farm approvals totaling 1,400 MW (1.4 GW) bring New Zealand closer to its target of 90% renewable electricity by 2025. The small nation of four million gets more than three quarters of its electricity from clean energy already: 79%.
Source: Clean Technica

German Wind Power expects growth with announcement of phase out of Nukes

"The German plan to completely phase out nuclear power by 2022 announced May 30 by Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Christian Democratic Union-led political alliance is boosting demand across the alternative and renewable power value chain.
European offshore wind power capacity has grown 4.5% in the first half of 2011, as 101 new offshore wind turbines with a total 348 MW capacity were connected to power grids in Germany, Norway and the UK. Another 2,844 MW are currently under construction, the EWEA reported recently.

The German government has laid out a roadmap for the nuclear phase-out, which calls for renewable power sources to replace the capacity lost from shutting down all its 17 nuclear power reactors by 2022. Eight of them had been shut down as of late June, according to a Voice of America report."

Source: Clean Technica

Last modified on Sunday, 11 September 2011 08:58
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