As America Goes Solar…

The world of solar power is changing the country so rapidly it’s difficult to keep up with the news. Here are some interesting signs of these times:

KB Homes, one of the nation’s most prominent house builders, will offer each and every one of the houses it builds in a new Palo Alto, California, development with solar photovoltaic power standard. The company estimates each homeowner will save at least $205 a month on electric bills, or more than $25,000 over 10 years.

France has passed a law saying every new building built in an area zoned commercial must have either solar panels on the roof or a green roof — plants and shrubbery that help stop the heat island effect of commercial buildings.

The CEO of First Solar recently spoke at an industry gathering in New Orleans and said that his company was bidding utility-scale projects for as low as 5 cents per kilowatt installed and that within 10 years it would be normal for solar power installations to be priced at 3 cents per kilowatt or less.

Greentech Media Research predicts that the global photovoltaic solar market will grow 36% in 2015, after barely growing 2% last year. Asia will consume more than half the total new global capacity, thought to be 55 gigawatts in 2015. The report also estimates the global market for photovoltaics will triple by 2020 to 700 gigawatts.

The United Nations has just issued a report that more jobs are created by investing in clean energies, dollar for dollar, than in fossil fuels. The U.N.’s Industrial Development Organization says that committing as little as 1.5% of GDP to renewable sources will spur job growth.

In the first quarter of 2015 a record number of solar panels were installed on America’s houses — more than 430 megawatts, about the size of a medium power plant. In order, the states with the most installations: California, New York, Arizona, Massachusetts and New Jersey. Florida, with anti-solar policies rampant, doesn’t even make the top 10. Does that make sense in the “sunshine state”?

To your health and wealth,

Stephen Petranek
for The Daily Reckoning

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Stephen Petranek

Stephen Petranek’s career of over 40 years in the publishing world is marked by numerous prizes and awards for excellent writing on science, nature, technology, politics, economics and more. He has been editor-in-chief of the Miami Herald’s prestigious Sunday magazine, Tropic, and has covered a wide range of topics for Time Inc.’s Life magazine. His...

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