SOLAR

SOLAR

SOLAR

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2018, about 17% of the electricity generated was from renewable sources (primarily wind, solar & hydropower), with 1.6% coming from solar.

In early 2019, the Solar Foundation released its National Solar Census, which shows that, since 2017, the total number of jobs in the industry has now fallen for the second year in a row. 242,343 people were employed in solar jobs in 2018, a 3.2% decline on the previous year. That comes after the industry contracted by 3.8% in 2017, primarily as a result of tariffs.

The outlook for jobs in the industry is expected to improve in 2019 due to a backlog of utility-scale projects and new policy incentives in key U.S. states. The Solar Foundation has forecast a 7% increase in jobs for this year, bringing the total to 259,400.

CURRENT NEWS

KEY RESOURCES

Investing in a Clean Energy Future: Solar Energy Research, Deployment, and Workforce Priorities

09/13/21
Investing in a Clean Energy Future: Solar Energy Research, Deployment, and Workforce Priorities

2035 Report

10/01/20
Scientists say we must cut global carbon emissions in half by 2030 to avoid catastrophic climate impacts.

Solar carports: how do they work and how much do they cost?

04/25/20
While a typical carport or patio cover provides shading and is undoubtedly a value-add for a home or automobile owner, its one-dimensional simplicity is a missed opportunity. If you’re a PV fanatic following emerging technologies in the solar industry,…

Depreciation of Solar Energy Property in MACRS

04/20/20
Businesses rely on policy certainty to make long-term investment decisions. SEIA supports smart tax policy that drives continued innovation in the solar industry. Depreciation is one aspect of the tax code that facilitates greater investment…

California Solar Data Current Through: Q4 2019

03/28/20
California has the largest solar market in the U.S. and has been a longtime champion of solar because of the many economic and environmental benefits it provides, including $57 billion in investment in the state.

Calculate your solar panel savings

02/22/20
Use this solar panel calculator to quickly estimate your solar potential and savings by address. Estimates are based on your roof, electricity bill, and actual offers in your area.

Top Solar Energy Facts e-book

01/15/20
Scientists estimate that more than enough solar energy strikes the planet every hour to power the entire globe for a full year.

Solar Power Events

01/06/20
Solar Power Events, the premier events series for the North American solar & storage markets, is presented by Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) & Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA). Alongside North America Smart Energy Week,…

Go solar: top 10 benefits of solar energy

12/06/19
There are many reasons why homeowners go solar, but improving the environment and cutting energy costs are the most common. Many people are aware that solar is a great home efficiency upgrade and are eager…

Solar Energy Industry Association

07/08/19
The Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry, which now employs more than 242,000 Americans. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to…

Coalition for Community Solar Access

07/08/19
The Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA) is a national Coalition of businesses and non-profits working to expand customer choice and access to solar to all American households and businesses through community solar. Community solar…

Vote Solar

07/04/19
Since 2002, Vote Solar has been working to lower solar costs and expand solar access. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Vote Solar advocates for state policies and programs needed to repower our electric grid with clean…

Ten Ways Your Community Can Go Solar

03/01/19
The United States has enough solar energy installed to power over 11 million American homes. America’s cities and towns play a key role in driving the adoption of clean, renewable energy. Yet, most have only…

MORE NEWS

More than half of 2022′s solar projects threatened by spiking costs, new report finds

By Pippa Stevens  Photo: Gary Weathers | Brand X Pictures | Getty Images   10/26/21  
Surging solar costs, driven my raw material price increases and supply chain constraints, could delay or even cancel more than half of 2022′s expected utility-scale solar buildout, according to a new report from energy consultancy…

Nonprofit Barrio Electrico works to expand solar energy in Puerto Rico

By YCC Team  Photo: Barrio Eléctrico video   10/20/21  
When Hurricanes Irma and Maria brought damaging winds to Puerto Rico in 2017, many people struggled to survive without electricity. And even in the absence of a hurricane, the power can be unreliable in rural…

Developers increasingly pair batteries with utility-scale solar to combat declining value in crowded markets

By Emma Penrod  Photo: Novo Nordisk   10/13/21  
Utility scale solar may have hit a record, and in many regions, a turning point in 2020, according to the national lab's new analysis. Utility scale installations added 12.8 GWdc to the grid in 2020, more…

Could Rooftop Solar Really Provide Enough Electricity For The Entire World?

By David Vetter  Photo: Getty Images   10/11/21  
With countries racing to end their reliance on the fossil fuels that cause climate change, it’s a boom time for renewable energy. Now, an international team of researchers has determined that if every available rooftop…

What’s behind solar’s polysilicon shortage — and why it’s not getting better anytime soon

By Jason Deign  Photo: Oliver Killig/ullstein bild via Getty Images   10/07/21  
Continued high prices for polysilicon, a key ingredient of crystalline-silicon PV cells, are starting to put some solar projects in jeopardy, analysts have warned. Solar developers that have won projects with ultra-low bids are trying to…

Sandia creates global archive of historical renewable energy documents

Photo: Randy Montoya   10/06/21  
Sandia National Laboratories began studying the power of the sun to produce utility-scale energy in the 1960s. Sandia’s National Solar Thermal Test Facility was commissioned in 1978, spurred by the oil crisis of 1973. Many…

ESS, SB Energy reach major deal for flow battery technology with 2 GWh agreement

By Jason Plautz   10/04/21  
SB Energy, a subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group, reached an agreement to purchase 2 GWh of iron flow energy storage from Oregon-based ESS — a major deal for the emerging technology.

SEIA aims for solar to generate 30 percent of U.S. electricity by 2030, but urges political assistance

By Chris Galford   09/30/21  
The United States solar industry raised its goals for generation this week, as the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reported a push for solar to represent 30 percent of U.S. electricity generation within the decade.
EIA

Most planned U.S. battery storage additions in next three years to be paired with solar

09/29/21  
Of the 14.5 gigawatts (GW) of battery storage power capacity planned to come online in the United States from 2021 to 2024, 9.4 GW (63%) will be co-located with a solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant,…

Some Chinese solar-panel manufacturers have stopped shipping to the U.S. over tariff concerns, installers say

By Jeanne Whalen  Photo: Bloomberg Creative Photos/Bloomberg Creative Collection   09/27/21  
Some Chinese solar-panel manufacturers have stopped sending panels to the United States, or are threatening to halt shipments, over regulatory concerns including a proposal for higher import tariffs, panel buyers and solar-energy developers said at…

U.S. solar companies warn that proposed tariffs would devastate new projects

By Nichola Groom  Photo: REUTERS/Bridget Bennett   09/22/21  
A U.S. solar industry group warned on Wednesday that tariffs on imported panels from three Asian countries would jeopardize nearly 30% of the solar capacity the nation is expected to install over the next two…

Solar Could Be the Keystone of Biden’s Decarbonization Plans

By Eduardo Garcia   09/09/21  
The U.S. could rely on solar energy to produce 40% of its electricity by 2035, an effort that would lead to a drastic reduction in carbon emissions, the Biden administration said in a new energy…

Joe Biden’s Solar Plan and the Prescience of Jimmy Carter

By Bill McKibben  Photo: Harvey Georges / AP   09/08/21  
The best time to plant a solar panel was forty years ago—but Biden is trying hard to make up for lost time.

From 4% to 45%: Biden Sets an Ambitious Plan for Solar Energy

By Ivan Penn  Photo: Erin Schaff/The New York Times   09/08/21  
The Biden administration on Wednesday released a plan to produce almost half of the nation’s electricity from the sun by 2050 as part of its effort to combat climate change.

U.S. solar photovoltaic module shipments up 33% in 2020

By Lolita Jamison   09/02/21  
Despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, U.S shipments of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules (also referred to as solar panels) reached a record high of 21.8 million peak kilowatts (kW) in 2020, 5.4 million peak kW more…

Extreme weather events are pushing consumers to solar and residential storage

By Pippa Stevens  Photo: Mike Blake , Reuters   08/25/21  
Extreme weather events across the U.S. — from wildfires and drought in the West, to deep freezes and floods in the South and Southeast — have disrupted the electric grid this year. As a result,…

Solar could provide 40 percent of US power generation by 2035, Biden administration says

By Zack Budryk   08/17/21  
The Department of Energy is projecting that solar power could comprise up to 40 percent of U.S. power generation nationwide by 2035, an increase of more than tenfold from today, with better incentives for renewable energy.

What Are Bifacial Solar Panels? Overview, How They Work, and Outlook

By David M. Kuchta  Photo: abriendomundo , Getty Images   08/13/21  
Like their name suggests, bifacial solar panels face both directions—toward the sun and away from it. That might not make sense at first, until you understand the simple physics of it.

California Panel Backs Solar Mandate for New Buildings

By Ivan Penn  Photo: Richard Vogel/Associated Press   08/11/21  
California regulators voted Wednesday to require builders to include solar power and battery storage in many new commercial structures as well as high-rise residential projects. It is the latest initiative in the state’s vigorous efforts…

Why rooftop solar leader Sunrun chose a utility executive as its next CEO

By Julian Spector   08/09/21  
Rooftop solar company Sunrun grew to a $10 billion market cap by promising to disrupt the century-old electric utility paradigm. Now it will be run by a former utility CEO. Founder and longtime CEO Lynn…

Solar-Powered Refrigerated Trailers Could Eliminate Millions of Tons of CO2 Emissions

By Lloyd Alter   08/02/21  
Reefers, or refrigerated trailers, are cooled by diesel fuel, with electricity from either the tractor's generator or an Auxilary Power Unit (APU) mounted on the trailer. An idling diesel tractor burns a gallon of fuel…

The US’s largest solar farm is canceled because Nevada locals don’t want to look at it

By Michelle Lewis   07/26/21  
The 850 megawatt, 9,200-acre solar farm, which would have been constructed in southern Nevada’s Moapa Valley, was to sit on 14 square miles on the Mormon Mesa, a flat-topped hill around 50 miles northeast of…

Newsletter: How solar panels on farmland could help California fix its water and power crises

By Sammy Roth  Photo: Gary Kazanjian , Los Angeles Times   07/08/21  
To the extent most Californians are thinking about energy right now, they’re probably wondering whether the lights will stay on during the next heat wave.

Can Solar Panels Damage Your Roof?

By Emily Rhode  Photo: Don Mason , Getty Images   06/30/21  
Solar panels will not damage your roof if you take the time to consider your particular situation and have a professional install the panels. Knowing the requirements for a roof that can support solar before…

Can Land Conservation and Dual-Use Solar on Farms Coexist?

By Lisa Held   06/29/21  
Most Massachusetts residents agree on the urgent need to tackle the climate crisis. But when it comes to the question of solar development, they’re much less aligned. While some believe the state is blazing a…

Gates-Backed Solar Company Seeks to Boost Power Output in Merger

By Ximena Del Cerro   06/28/21  
A solar-technology firm backed by the Bill Gates-led Breakthrough Energy Ventures is seeking to boost output of photovoltaic panels as much as 30% by joining forces with a company developing an advanced cell material.

Utility-Scale Solar Is 85% Cheaper Than in 2010

By Sami Grover  Photo: Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Image   06/23/21  
Ten years ago, you could drive around many parts of North Carolina and rarely see a large-scale solar farm. Yet now, it seems like they are everywhere. While there has been some partisan bickering over…

U.S. solar has largest first quarter ever

By Ben Geman   06/15/21  
New industry data shows the first three months of 2021 saw the addition of over 5 gigawatts of new U.S. solar power generating capacity, the largest first quarter ever. Why it matters: It's the latest…

U.S. solar installations soared in first quarter, supply squeeze weighs

By Nichola Groom  Photo: Bing Guan   06/15/21  
U.S. solar installations are on track for record-breaking growth over the next three years, a view that could be challenged by soaring project costs or accelerated by new subsidies championed by the Biden administration, according…

Global supply chain squeeze, soaring costs threaten solar energy boom

By Muyu Xu, Emily Chow and Nichola Groom  Photo: Reuters/stringer/file Photo   06/09/21  
Global solar power developers are slowing down project installations because of a surge in costs for components, labor, and freight as the world economy bounces back from the coronavirus pandemic, according to industry executives and…

BP puts $220M toward U.S. solar projects

By Rachel Frazin  Photo: Getty Images   06/01/21  
Oil major BP is investing $220 million in U.S. solar projects as it seeks to expand its renewables portfolio, the company announced on Tuesday.  The projects it purchased will be spread across 12 states, with…

Making solar installations easier gives one company a $250 million windfall

05/24/21  
$320 million in over two years. That’s how much money Aurora Solar has raised for its service that helps solar installers lower costs and make the installation of panels more efficient for homeowners.

Inside Clean Energy: Solar Industry Wins Big in Kentucky Ruling

By Dan Gearino   05/20/21  
The people in Kentucky’s small rooftop solar industry are used to fighting for their livelihoods against utilities, but they aren’t used to winning. So a ruling last week from the Kentucky Public Service Commission was…

Solar farms can create crucial pollinator habitat

By Berly McCoy   05/19/21  
As the cost of solar panels has gone down, the benefits of installing them has gone up. But one potentially overlooked benefit comes from what happens below the panels. Some farmers and solar panel developers…

Solar pushback: how US power firms try to make people pay for going green

By Haines Eason  Photo: Tannen Maury   05/13/21  
Kevin Good is the president of a small solar power company in Kansas – a state that tends to be so sunny you’d think he’d have it made. “I got into solar at maybe the…

Silicon Valley Getting a Rare New U.S. Solar-Manufacturing Plant

By Brian Eckhouse   05/11/21  
Standard Industries Inc., one of the world’s largest roofing companies, is deepening its bet on solar by building a rare U.S. panel factory in Silicon Valley. The company’s GAF Energy is investing more than $50…

Granholm backs wind and solar in Biden bid to decarbonize electricity

By Rachel Frazin  Photo: Getty Images   05/06/21  
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm backed wind and solar energy as likely to give the biggest “bang for your buck” as part of the Biden administration’s bid to decarbonize the electric sector during a House hearing…

Interior Department Approves Solar Energy Project in California Desert

05/03/21  
Today, the Interior Department announced that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has given final approval to a new solar energy project on public lands in California. The Crimson Solar Project represents an investment of…

Crimson Solar Project west of Blythe receives federal approval

By City News Service  Photo: Bureau of Land Management   05/03/21  
Federal officials on Monday announced the final approval of a solar energy project slated to be constructed on public land west of Blythe.

Agrivoltaics: Solar farming our way out of a climate crisis

By Parker Hughes   04/23/21  
Progress: To meet President Joe Biden’s green energy plan to move the US to carbon-free electricity by 2035, solar photovoltaic (PV) technology will likely consume a larger chunk of our nation’s energy portfolio. Yet conventional…

Solar energy ready to take over Ohio if lawmakers would let it

By Kathiann M. Kowalski Ohio   03/31/21  
Solar energy is poised to challenge nuclear power as the third-largest source of electricity generation in Ohio, according to a new analysis. The Buckeye state is in the midst of a solar boom, with dozens…

Solar Development, Forest Protection Need Better Balance

By Grace Kelly  Photo: Frank Carini   03/24/21  
The siting of renewable energy is a complex issue that dances around property rights, tax revenues, the carrying capacity of energy infrastructure, smart grids, energy storage, and environmental protections. Rhode Island began grappling with the…

Gov. Tom Wolf announces plan to produce 50% of state government electricity through solar energy

By Susan Shapiro   03/23/21  
Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday announced a major clean energy initiative that he said will produce nearly 50% of the state government’s electricity through new solar energy arrays. Wolf said Pennsylvania PULSE (Project to Utilize…

The economics of covering California’s water system with solar panels

By John Timmer   03/19/21  
A major factor driving the growth of solar power in the US has been the economics of large, utility-scale solar projects. The scale of plants ensures that their developers can buy components in bulk, use…

Homeowners associations still a barrier for some would-be solar customers

By Frank Jossi  Photo: Michael Tuszynski   02/11/21  
Minnesota homeowners and solar groups are backing a bill to prohibit HOAs from banning rooftop solar panels.

Saul Griffith on the Soft Costs of Solar

By Peter Sinclair   01/28/21  
More from my interview with MacArthur Genius Saul Griffith. Here, Griffith discusses the “soft costs” of solar, permitting, installation, “costs of sale”, and how dealing with those costs allows for a radical drop in solar…

On a mere 1% of farmland, solar panels could provide 20% of US electricity

By Emma Bryce   01/15/21  
Sharing pays off, a new study finds. If farmers in the United States can be convinced to share just 1% of their land with solar panels, they could generate 20% of the country’s electricity with…

Solar synergy: How good timing and partnerships propelled a suburban D.C. county to its clean power goal

By Elizabeth McGowan   01/12/21  
Arlington County is no slacker on addressing climate change. So it isn’t surprising that the District of Columbia suburb is on the verge of leapfrogging a goal of harvesting half of its electricity for government…

Last chance for Illinois solar? Desperate advocates push fix in lame duck session

By Kari Lydersen   01/12/21  
Illinois solar developers and advocates are racing to secure a “funding bridge” for the state’s depleted solar incentives during a short lame duck legislative session expected to end Tuesday night or Wednesday.

Boiling Point: How rooftop solar could save Americans $473 billion

By Sammy Roth  Photo: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times   01/07/21  
With less than two weeks until Joe Biden takes office — and with Democrats taking control of the Senate — the growth of clean energy is poised to accelerate. Even if Congress doesn’t fully embrace…