JUNE 14, 2012
The solar market in the United States is predicted to double in size this year, thanks to low component prices and increased production capacity.
According to a study by the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research, about 3.3 gigawatts of panels will be installed in the U.S. in 2012. Still, this leaves the U.S. in 11th place worldwide in market share for solar energy.
Next year could be a challenge to the industry, however, with an increase in tariffs on Chinese photovoltaic panels coming in 2013.
Meanwhile, the rising cost of coal extraction is convincing utility companies to abandon the dirty fuel source in favor of natural gas, which, although better for the environment in terms of the power plant emissions, is increasingly being extracted using a dangerous process called hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as "fracking".
Many Americans are unaware of the dangers of fracking and could be persuaded that natural gas is a green alternative to coal, but it isn't. We need to convince Congress to stop subsidizing the dirty fuel industries like coal, oil and gas and instead us that money to help truly clean, green energy sources like wind and solar.