The Solar Demand
by RefrigerationSchool.com, October 26, 2015:
The solar industry continues to grow at an outstanding pace. Even though solar usage has dramatically increased, only one percent of energy needs are currently coming from solar power, according to this infographic from RSI. This means the industry should continue to grow for decades.
Many U.S. government departments are contributing. Installations of huge solar arrays are underway on public lands in the desert. The Defense Department uses solar power to run military bases. The Energy Department assists local organizations with long-term planning. In August 2014, NASA announced development plans for a low-earth orbit solar satellite to capture solar energy and beam it down to Earth. With advanced technology such as this system proposed by NASA, one day it will be possible for solar to provide a large portion of the worlds energy needs and reduce the dependency on dwindling petroleum reserves.
Businesses are building solar arrays and adding solar power to rooftops in order to reduce power consumption from the electric grid especially during the more costly daytime peak power periods. Google, Apple, Wal-Mart, Kohls, and others are making solar energy a part of their operations.
Residences are adding solar panels to rooftops by the tens of thousands. Californians are leading the nation in residential installations. A major milestone was an additional 1,000 megawatts, achieved in the year of 2013, doubling the states residential capacity. The cause of this phenomenal growth was financial incentives and the availability of lower-cost, more efficient, solar panels.
Residential consumers in California realized solar power was a great deal because any excess power from the solar system, not used by the home, could be put back on the gird to reduce the overall electrical bill. During March 2014, KPBS public radio announced the decision by the California Public Utilities Commission to extend the net-zero metering program for twenty years. This means utilities must buy power back from homeowners.
With so many positive trends, the costs of solar technology going down, tax incentives encouraging solar system installation, and the solar industry creating thousands of new good-paying jobs, there is a lot to be happy about regarding advancements in solar energy.