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"Shell Oil predicts that 50% of the world's energy will come from renewable sources by 2040."

"A system as small as 50 kilowatts, which can fit on a medium-sized office building roof, can produce enough electricity to eliminate 86,388 lbs of CO2 pollution annually, equivalent to planting over 6.5 acres of trees!"

"The number 2 state in the U.S. for solar electric power, and number 1 in total solar installations on a per capita basis, is New Jersey. Abundant state and federal incentive programs have caused the number of solar installations to skyrocket from just six installations seven years ago to over 4,340 today." LEARN MORE

In one hour, the planet Earth receives more energy from the sun than the entire world uses during a whole year.

In most states, you are allowed to feed the electricity produced by your solar power system back into the power grid.

Known as "net metering," this allows you to sell your solar power to the local utility, reducing or eliminating your electric bill.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), passed in response to the worldwide economic crisis of 2008-2009, contains more than than $50 billion in direct spending programs, tax incentives, grants, loans, loan guarantees, and bond programs devoted to clean and renewable energy.

Even during the recession, the solar industry grew by 37 percent in 2009 and created 17,000 new American jobs. One industry association projects 10 gigawatts of new installations annually by 2015, powering two million households with clean, safe solar energy and supporting 440,000 domestic jobs.

2009 marked the second year of major price declines for photovoltaic solar modules. Prices have fallen over 40 percent since the beginning of 2008.

Since module prices account for up to half of the installed cost of a PV system, overall installed system prices are trending significantly downward as well.

Renewable Energy News

July 13, 2010

Neuwing Development and Renewable Power Partners Announce Merger

Forms One of Largest Utility-Scale Solar Pipelines in Mid-Atlantic

By Chad Gottesman

WILMINGTON, DE - July 13, 2010. Neuwing Development, LLC, an affiliate of Neuwing Energy Ventures, LLC, and Renewable Power Partners, LLC (RPP) today announced that they have completed a definitive merger agreement as of June 30, 2010. The companies have combined to create Neuwing Renewable Energy, LLC (NRE), a renewable energy development company focused on utility-scale solar projects ranging in size from 1 to 20 megawatts throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

"This merger creates one of the East Coast's largest solar development companies, based on project pipeline and megawatts currently under development," said Robert Rabe, RPP's Founder and President. "We all benefit from the increased scope, scale and critical mass afforded by this merger, which substantially increases our financial capability, adds value to existing projects and creates new opportunities for growth. We are stronger and more diverse as a combined entity."

June 09, 2011

Seven Key Observations About Solar Power's Success In 2010

By Jessica Lillian, Solar Industry

Which U.S. electric utilities are using the most solar? In ranking utilities by their totals of newly installed solar power, the fourth annual Utility Solar Rankings report from the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) reveals several striking trends.

These key takeaways recap a record-setting 2010 for the industry and provide cues for the future of the utility solar power market.

1. Utilities' solar portfolios are growing rapidly.

The report highlights the myriad ways that utilities can incorporate PV and concentrating solar power (CSP) into their portfolios - including through power purchase agreements, small distributed customer-owned systems, or projects that they develop and own themselves.

Regardless of the way the solar power is procured, the results are positive: The top 10 utilities integrated a total of 561 MW of solar last year, which represents 100% year-over-year growth.

"Solar power is becoming recognized as an important element in the energy supply planning and customer energy management of utilities nationwide," the report says.

2. It's not all about California anymore.

Among the top 10 utilities, more than half - seven - were not based in California, and four were located in the Eastern region. Moreover, the non-California share of the utility solar market has grown substantially over the past two years, from 25% in 2008 to 63% in 2010.

In a separate list that ranked utilities by solar watts per customer, utilities from six different states, including three from the East, made the top 10 - another significant change from just one year ago.

June 07, 2011

Can The U.S. Install Solar On 10 Million Rooftops By The New Decade?

By Solar Industry

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., have introduced the 10 Million Solar Roofs Act of 2011, which is designed to lower the cost of solar power and put the U.S. on track to install 10 million solar systems on homes and businesses by 2020.

Sanders and Boozman are the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Green Jobs and New Economy Subcommittee. They were joined in introducing the solar legislation by Sen. Jeff Bingaman, the chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Sanders originally introduced the legislation last year.

"This legislation will make it more affordable for families and businesses to install solar, by helping communities reduce the costs associated with solar energy permitting," Sanders said.

"As we lower the cost of solar energy and increase our use of solar, we can create hundreds of thousands of good-paying manufacturing and installation jobs in this country," he continued. "This bill also sets strong targets for American solar energy production, to ensure we compete vigorously with China and Europe for solar energy jobs."

"A simplified permitting process will make solar energy more affordable," added Boozman. "I am especially pleased that our bill is fully offset and uses existing authorized spending to spur improvements in solar permitting and encourage the deployment of solar energy systems."

June 02, 2011

DOE: $27 Million to Cut Solar Project Costs, Permitting Hoops

By Environmental Leader

As part of the SunShot Initiative, the U.S. Department of Energy is making more than $27 million in new funding available to reduce the non-hardware costs of solar energy projects.

The funding will support a $12.5 million challenge to encourage cities and counties to compete to streamline and digitize permitting processes, as well as $15 million that will be made available to advance innovations in information technology systems, local zoning and building codes and regulations, and more.

Both funding opportunities focus on reducing “non-hardware balance of system” costs, which generally refer to the costs of installing solar systems not associated with the solar panels, mounting hardware, electronics, etc. These “soft costs,” including the capital required to pay for siting, permitting, and installation, as well as the cost of connecting the systems to the grid, can represent up to 40 percent of the total cost of the solar energy system.

These projects also hope to help standardize some of the differing and expensive administrative processes of various towns, cities, and counties across the nation and securing financing for their projects, cut upfront fees and paperwork, and reduce the overall costs associated with permitting and installation.

May 27, 2011

New solar field in Logan Township brings renewable energy, jobs

By Rebecca Forand, Gloucester County Times

LOGAN TWP. — A new-constructed solar field is breathing new life into an old, capped landfill in Bridgeport, which was opened and dedicated Thursday.

The former brownfield, off of Route 322, was closed years ago in order to undergo groundwater decontamination, but its current owners, Clean Harbors Environmental Services, saw its potential.

New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno and Logan Township Mayor Frank Minor joined executives from Clean Harbors Thursday to dedicate the field, which includes 6,500 solar panels.

“This really symbolizes everything that is good about New Jersey,” Guadagno said. “We’re putting this landfill back into the economic bloodstream. It’s a win-win for everybody.”

Clean Harbors, a nationwide company, chose the Logan Township site because it was an open space that can’t be used for another purpose, and because New Jersey’s incentives for solar energy are the best they have found.

The state has a Solar Energy Renewable Credits program, as well as offering a 30 percent tax credit for the construction of solar fields.

The solar field will generate 1.5 megawatts of electricity, which is enough energy to power 1,100 homes.