America's place in the sun: Energy report sets goal

America’s place in the sun: Energy report sets goal
Solar Electricity Technical Potential Compared with Electricity Consumption

A recent energy report said that America should build on the recent growth in solar energy by setting a goal of obtaining at least 10 percent of its electricity from solar power by 2030. "Star Power: The Growing Role of Solar Energy in America" from the Environment America Research & Policy Center said that the federal government should commit to a baseline goal of obtaining at least 10 percent of the nation's electricity from solar energy by that time.

"We can get to 10 percent solar by 2030 if we just keep our foot on the accelerator," said Rob Sargent, energy program director for Environment America and co-author of the report. Factors such as solar installation costs falling; efficiency of solar cells rising; and threats of pollution and global warming looming contribute to the notion that is becoming a more attractive source of energy. All the same, the very idea that solar would be able to generate 10 percent of the nation's electricity in less than two decades is a goal that many once thought improbable, yet "getting to 10 percent of U.S. electricity from solar should happen far sooner than 2030" in the opinion of Jigar Shah, president of San Francisco-based Generate Capital, a specialty finance company focused on funding small-scale, resource-efficient infrastructure.

Among the report's recommendations is that tax credits be extended for . The report said that the federal government, for example, has often taken an "on-again/ off-again" approach to supporting renewable energy. "With a key financial incentive for solar energy – federal tax credits for residential and business solar installations – now scheduled to expire at the end of 2016, the should extend these incentives and consider making them permanent with the value phasing down over time as solar expands. Non-profit organizations and local governments that are ineligible for tax credits should be able to qualify for grants and similar benefits."

More than half of all new U.S. electricity generating capacity came from solar installations in the first half of 2014; the United States now has enough solar electric capacity installed to power more than 3.2 million homes, said Environment America.

America’s place in the sun: Energy report sets goal
The United States Can Generate 10 Percent of Its Electricity from Solar Power by 2030
"If 10 percent of our electricity came from pollution-free solar power, the United States would reduce its global warming emissions by 280 million metric tons in 2030 – the equivalent of taking 59 million cars off the road." The report said that at that scale, it would help achieve the goals of the U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan. "Proposed in June 2014, the Clean Power Plan sets national and state-by-state targets and deadlines for the reduction of power plant emissions, with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions from electricity production by 30 percent compared with 2005 levels."

The report referred to solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity," or "solar PV," for installed solar photovoltaic systems, distributed and utility-scale. "Solar electricity capacity" referred to all solar technologies that generate electricity, including concentrating solar power systems that use the sun's heat rather than its light to generate . The report's figures did not include other solar energy technologies, such as solar water heating.


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Researchers convert sunlight to electricity with over 40 percent efficiency

More information: — www.environmentamerica.org/new … rcent-solar-us-reach

www.environmentamerica.org/rep … solar-energy-america

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Dec 24, 2014
U.S is Ice Covered. It should put its money in Solar/Tropical Countries first instead of selling Arms & Ammunition there!
Then get back here to make its profits. Profits + Profits will be actually Profits^2

Dec 24, 2014
Betterexists,

The USA has Deserts in California that could power the entire country many times over alone. Very little of the country is ice covered for any amount of time.


Dec 26, 2014
It is hard to take a report seriously when it shows a graphic which states Alaska could generate a substantial portion of it's electricity from Solar... clearly from the report I know realize my family does not need power the coldest 3 months a year when the sun is down for 21 hours of the day and temperatures reach -60.

Dec 26, 2014
Gosh, we are all indebted to the budding geologist, who told us all something nobody else ever thought of. How did the uneducated folk get smarter than the experts?

Dec 28, 2014
We have tens and hundreds of thousands of square miles of desert raising NOTHING but cactuses, rattlesnakes, and scorpions, not to mention black widow spiders and mamba like snakes. USE that territory for solar voltaic generator farms by the millions. Every solar farm keeps millions of dollars per year out of the hands of muslime terrorists! Keep our foot in the accelerator on these projects to raise our domestic energy to self supporting no matter what the greedy oil oligarchs do to lower their prices just to get us to stop. Rest assured if we stopped building solar, gas would be over six bucks a gallon with a year.

Dec 28, 2014
"We have tens and hundreds of thousands of square miles of desert raising NOTHING but cactuses, rattlesnakes, and scorpions, not to mention black widow spiders and mamba like snakes."
------------------------------------

Does that include the Vegas Mob?

But, I agree with most of that. We will need more transmission lines if we do. Probably HVDC. Perhaps superconducting.

If you put a fossil plant in the desert, like we do, it needs gross volumes of water.

Dec 29, 2014
Among the report's recommendations is that tax credits be extended

If solar power is economically viable it doesn't need tax credits. People embrace technology when the benefits outweigh the costs. PV technology is on the cusp of being economically competitive in many places in the U.S. especially for home installations. Massive solar farms are not. They are one of the most expensive ways to generate electricity.

http://en.wikiped...y_source

Until electricity storage technology improves significantly, PV is practical only to offset power used during daylight hours; for example to run air conditioning.

Dec 29, 2014
the United States would reduce its global warming emissions by 280 million metric tons in 2030 – the equivalent of taking 59 million cars off the road.

Laudable if it were true, but it's a magic, made-up number. No one knows how much human CO2 emissions contribute to global warming. Contrary to the confident assertions of proponents of the theory of anthropogenic warming, the science is far from settled. For instance, NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory has shown recently that the globe's carbon cycle--what sources are net emitters or absorbers of carbon--is not understood as well as was thought.

http://oco.jpl.nasa.gov/

Nor is it clear that the modest 0.8 C warming of the last 100 years will continue indefinitely. It has stopped for the last 15 to 20 years. And it's certainly not clear that humans are the major (or even minor) cause of that warming. What is clear is that historical periods of modest warming are associated with prosperity and improved quality of life.

Dec 29, 2014
aksdad, look up the ten hottest years in history, and report back to us.

We're waiting, . . .


Dec 30, 2014
And here we have documented evidence of the phoney engineer and ecohobbyist gkam claiming to be an expert:

"Gosh, we are all indebted to the budding geologist, who told us all something nobody else ever thought of. How did the uneducated folk get smarter than the experts?"

"in California that could power the entire country many times over alone. Very little of the country is ice covered for any amount of time."

-But there's no way to distribute the power countrywide.

Dec 30, 2014
Among the report's recommendations is that tax credits be extended for solar energy. The report said that the federal government, for example, has often taken an "on-again/ off-again" approach to supporting renewable energy. "With a key financial incentive for solar energy – federal tax credits for residential and business solar installations – now scheduled to expire at the end of 2016,


How the HELL does this square with the multitudes of PV supporters on this site saying solar is cheap??!!

Have thy cake or eat of it! Heretics :P

As an aside I seriously considered putting up PV cells on my roof a year or so ago. Then, when I was doing the serious research needed before shelling out thousands of dollars I realized it makes ZERO economic sense (at least where I live) given the lost time in maintenance and the up front costs (including the tax breaks). It needed to be six times less expensive to even get a serious look...

Dec 30, 2014
Gosh, I guess your one experience proves it: Solar is a hoax.

My neighbor across the street gets a low rate forever, plus gets to sell the additional power back to the utility and gets a paycheck. The one next door just uses his to offset the cost of power, and to charge their hybrid. Payback is seven years, and after that, it is all free.

Dec 30, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Dec 30, 2014
could you quick post a couple of pieces of data for us - I think your numbers are very exagerated? Thanks
@Greenonions
they may not be
i know from experience that places like the west coast (not all, but a LOT), FL, NY & larger cities have high costs of living that is a fraction of what i pay living outside and semi-near a small rural town

from my experience, the costs of LA are at least 8x more expensive than here, and Miami, Tampa, and Orlando share the spotlight with 4x
NYC is just stupid... and WAY higher

This is why i salvaged my solar panels from rich idiots who think that they need new panels every 3-5 years or who don't like smudges/visual flaws

I actually got half of my 100W panels free just for taking responsibility for disposal from the boats they were mounted on... but not everyone will have that kind of time/energy either

@MM
i would love to see more data from specific regions though

Jan 05, 2015
The "rich idiots" are probably upgrading. Huge leaps and bounds have come in the filed of photovoltaic. If they have a cottage or something with a limited roof space they can get nearly twice the power from the same area of brand new panels as they could get with the best of what was available 5 years ago.

And they're rich. A 20K investment is considered little more than if you should eat at a restaurant. They want the best that's available and cost is irrelevant.

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