Skip to main content

After years of foot dragging and renewables prevention strategies by the Bush Administration and all the Big Fossil, Inc. Republicans, the U.S. has finally become one of the top three global solar photovoltaic nations in the world, along with Germany and China.

The U.S. will be installing 4.3 GW of solar pv this year, more than doubling the cumulative total of around 4 GW that was in place at the end of 2011.

When Obama and the Dems took charge, the U.S. was a veritable hinterland in regards to solar power.  Now, a mere 3 years later, the U.S. is finally and rapidly en route to becoming the solar power powerhouse that it should have been all along:

Americas PV Market Grew 120% in First Half of 2012; USA to Become 3rd Largest Market in 2012

Date: 22 August 2012

The Americas photovoltaics (PV) market more than doubled in the first half of 2012 to reach 1.7 Gigawatts (GW) and is set to reach almost 4.3 GW for the full year according to the Q3 PV Demand Report from IMS Research (recently acquired by IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS)). Installations grew by more than 120 percent in the first half of this year and will help drive the global PV market to grow by at least 3 GW in 2012, according to the research firm.

The amazing thing here is that this is the third straight year in which solar pv has more than doubled in the U.S., yet the total installed this year will be more than the cumulative total installed in all prior years:

2011 Q4 U.S. Solar Market Insight Key Report Findings:

PV installations grew 109% in 2011 to reach 1,855 MW, which represents 7.0% of all PV globally, up from 887 MW and 5.0% of global installations in 2010.

Cumulative PV capacity operating in the U.S. now stands at 3,954 MW.

This would be an amazing growth rate in any industry and, in addition to being a huge, positive sign in our attempts to combat global warming and achieve energy independence, it has another very important impact:


Electricity generated from solar pv creates more jobs than any other energy source. According to a Berkley study from 2009, solar pv creates up to 8 times as many job years per produced Gw/H as electricity production from coal and natural gas.

Mit Romney's response to all of this is to tell a big whopper of a lie by stating that "studies of Europe's green job experiments have found that each new green job destroys several other jobs elsewhere in the economy."  It's no surprise that the Big Oil, Inc. Koch Brothers pledged to organize hundreds of millions of dollars for the Romney Campaign shortly after Romney penned that big lie in an op-ed.

Make no mistake about it, the encouraging, amazing, fantastic growth rates in renewables that we are currently seeing would not be happening if the Dems and President Obama had not put policies in place to support them and finally lifted many of the roadblocks that had been kept in place by the Bush Administration.

The choice we face this November is between a Big Oil and Big Fossil funded group of Republicans that will do all they can to balloon the profits of their big, corporate funders and a President and group of Democrats who will continue to support renewable energy.

It is absolutely crucial that we do everything in our power to make sure that we can continue on this path to a clean energy future.

Our country, our health, our planet depend on it.

Originally posted to Lawrence on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 02:52 AM PDT.

Also republished by Kosowatt, Good News, and Climate Change SOS.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Fantasy: solar power turns Arizona blue (12+ / 0-)

    They've got enough heat and crazy to power the whole state

    •  If Republicans continue to cling to their crazy, (6+ / 0-)

      outdated energy policies then that just might happen.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 03:34:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dein Wort in Gottes Ohr. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence, wilderness voice, citisven

        Thanks for the good news, Lawrence. Have you noticed the pro-nuke contingent has been awfully quiet lately? And it's sooooooo much more pleasant around here without "our special friend" contributing his special brand of nastiness.

        „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

        by translatorpro on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 06:49:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't pay much attention to the (8+ / 0-)

          "nuke-is-the-answer-to-all-our-problems" group.  I just try to focus on the very positive renewable energy developments taking place of late and show how the Republicans are a terrible choice on energy matters.  :)

          The nuke guys are probably having a tough time making their case with wind power currently overtaking nukes in global power generation and renewables showing faster growth rates than any other form of electricity generation.

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 07:08:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And a good thing there is some good (5+ / 0-)

            news on the environment front - It's been really depressing lately.

            Here's some new news from Germany:

            Germany crosses 30 GW threshold

            In the first half of 2012, Germany installed 414 wind turbines, putting it over the 30 gigawatt threshold. While further domestic growth is expected, manufacturers are worried about the international market.

            In the first two quarters of 2012, 414 turbines with a total capacity of 1,004 megawatts were installed in Germany, including 45 megawatts of offshore turbines, a 26 percent increase year over year. Germany now has an estimated 30,016 megawatts of installed wind power. By the end of the years, and additional 1,400 megawatts is expected to be put up.


            „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

            by translatorpro on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 08:20:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  You should offer some thx to Germans/Danes (19+ / 0-)

    Because of the extremely high price paid by consumers in Northern Europe for electricity (I pay around $0.30 per Kwh), and the political will to support green energy (feedin tariffs), the demand for PV ( and wind turbines) has been driving the competition and economies of scale that have reduced PV prices dramatically over  the last five years, thus making them viable in high sun/low energy cost countries like the US.

    If Germany can produce over 20% of its electricity by renewables ( over 50% for short periods),  when demand peaks in Winter, and the Southernmost point in Germany is further North than the Northernmost part of the lower 48, then how can it not be good sense to use solar in Arizona, Socal, NM, Texas, Florida etc, where peak demand is driven by airco in the middle of long hot sunny days?

    •  That's a great point. (15+ / 0-)

      The German people almost single-handedly financed the scaling up of solar pv for numerous years.  They alone were installing more than the rest of the world for a couple of years.

      Germany is at 25.3% renewables electricity production in the first half of 2012, btw.  :)  That's definitely pretty amazing renewables growth for a major industrialized nation that is so densely populated.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 03:48:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep. And you know what? That COULD have... (9+ / 0-)

        ...been the U.S., starting 30 years ago, if Ronzo (and his string-pullers) hadn't stepped forward and bollixed everything. The U.S. lost a lead in solar and wind in the 1980s that it has yet to regain, although in terms of wind overall (not per capita), we're in the lead again.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 09:01:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah man, Carter really was a visionary when (5+ / 0-)

          it came to renewables.  With the amazing amount of renewables resources that the U.S. has, it easily should and could be both the capacity and per capita leader in both wind and solar power.  It's such a shame that Reagan came along and ruined all that.

          The more I learn about renewables and the history of renewables, the clearer it becomes to me that there has been a de facto conspiracy by Big Fossil and Big Energy to quash renewables and that the Romney/Ryan ticket and all the Climate Change denier Republicans currently in Congress are just the logical extension of that conspiracy.

          It's a good thing that other democratic countries like Germany managed to successfully combat the suppression of renewables .... if they hadn't managed that, it'd be much harder for us now.

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 09:16:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  hmmm (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    translatorpro, sayitaintso, jam
    The amazing thing here is that this is the third straight year in which solar pv has more than doubled in the U.S., yet the total installed this year will be more than the cumulative total installed in all prior years
    Great news, but isn't that how doubling works, mathematically speaking?
    •  Only if the bulk of installations has been very (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama, translatorpro, JeffW, Odysseus

      recent and very rapid.  And since the growth in solar power didn't take place in the U.S. until Obama and the Dems set the right priorities, the growth here has been very recent and rapid.

      In other countries a current doubling of the year on year level of installations wouldn't come close to doubling the total cumulative amount installed.


      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 06:17:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great news - thanks for the catch. Republished. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, translatorpro

    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 06:30:22 AM PDT

  •  This is great news and goes hand in hand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    with the growth of wind-generated power in the US. The growth of renewables and the price of natural gas have put a stop to the growth of coal plants in the US.

    It is critical that Congress extends the Production Tax Credit that expires at the end of the year so that wind energy can continue to grow in the USA.

    NC-4 (soon to be NC-6) Obama/Biden 2012

    by bear83 on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 07:33:39 AM PDT

    •  It is worth noting that (6+ / 0-)

      US solar PV power capacity = 8 GW

      US solar thermal power capacity = 0.5 GW

      (Most of it at a single plant in California)

      US wind power capacity = 49.8 GW

      and that wind is cheaper than solar in general. However

      A total of 4,658 MW of utility scale solar power plants are under construction and an additional 25,370 MW are under development, with 15,802 MW of those in California.
      In addition,
      There are currently 10,312 MW [of wind power] across 30 states under construction in the second quarter of 2012.

      Hey, Mitt! Thanks for ObamneyCare.

      by Mokurai on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 07:54:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  New wind power development is withering now (0+ / 0-)

        due to the PTC scheduled expiration on 12/31/12. If a project can't be finished by then, developers are hesitant to take it on.

        Just more legislative malpractice by the GOP-held House.

        NC-4 (soon to be NC-6) Obama/Biden 2012

        by bear83 on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 09:32:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Is there a link to Romney's whopper of a lie (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, A Siegel

    that green energy destroys jobs?

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 08:10:54 AM PDT

  •  Maddow said Dems are winning on policy (4+ / 0-)

    Rachel appeared on Letterman last night (introduced as "the smartest person on television'").  He asked why the campaigns haven't said anything about climate change.  She said the Republicans had won the political battle so that global warming was 'toxic'.  BUT, she went on, the Democrats are promoting a huge development of renewables on the ground.

    •  Rachel Maddow is a very smart lady and a very (3+ / 0-)

      astute analyst.

      The Republicans and their Big Oil and Big Fossil corporate backers did poison the Climate Change issue by inundating people with lies for numerous decades.  It had a particularly strong impact on people aged 40+, I think.

      The beauty of implementing policies that make renewables cheaper than other forms of energy production is that it effectively counters that Republican/Big Oil strategy by having Americans support renewables for reasons other than climate change, like energy independence and for the mere reason of saving money.  That way you get people on board who would not have been on board if it was just about climate change.

      I think it's a damn shame that Big Oil/Big Fossil has been able to muddy the waters on climate change so badly in the U.S., but right now all I really care about is seeing results... and I'm pretty happy with the current results, considering the circumstances.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 10:01:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  About climate change and renewables, politics (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence, Susan from 29

        A conservative writer about a year ago wrote: "Tell me about pollution, not climate change, if you want to convince me to go with alternate energy. I don't believe in human-caused climate change and never will. But I see pollution, and what it does."

        Which I thought was a very astute point. In the end all that really matters is that we get onto using Kinetic Energies, and not whether we win a debate on what's causing the climate to go loopy.

        So more emphasis on the pollution angle would be smart on our part.

        The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

        by Jim P on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 12:00:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The polling ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the serious look at "climate" within the political environment does not agree with Rachel Maddow.  See, for example, The Political Benefits of Taking a Pro-Climate Stand in 2012

        • Independents lean toward “climate action” and look more like Democrats than Republicans on the issue.
        • A pro-climate action position wins votes among Democrats and Independents, and has little negative impact with Republican voters.
        Not engaging on climate issues is a losing path ... on multiple levels politically.

        And, in terms of renewable deployment, not discussing pollution & climate undermines reasons for imperative in moving forward. And, look at all the barriers to moving things forward -- no, price is not "the" only issue.

        Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

        by A Siegel on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 06:31:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's only a slight majority in favor. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Susan from 29

          It's sad, but that's the current situation in the U.S.

          Furthermore, climate change very rarely ranks as a top issue amongst U.S. voters:

          Public opinion on climate change, and environmental issues overall has consistently ranked at the bottom of the overall public concerns as measured by polls. The most frequently used measure of public importance or issue salience is the Most Important Problem question administered by the Gallup organization. Over the past 40 years that environmental issued have been included in this scale, the overall level of concern for all environmental issues rarely exceeds 3% of the respondents mentioning this issue. The most recent Gallup poll results (March 2012) shows that in response to the question "What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?" 1% responded with concern over the environment. This puts environmental concerns as ranking in 24th place overall.

          When asked about specific environmental concerns, the March 2012 poll showed that 78% of the public worried a great deal or fair amount about toxic waste contamination and water pollution. Out of 7 environmental issues, global warming was last, with only 55% of the public worried a great deal or fair amount about this issue.

          An interesting analysis by Harvard on student's priorities shows that in comparison to 11 other issues, climate change was rated a lower priority in 10 out of 11 categories.

          Climate Change has, sadly, become a divisive issue in the U.S. and is not ranked as a top issue in polls.   I wish it weren't so, but that's the reality of the situation on the ground.

          Whether you like it or not, the biggest factor in combatting Climate Change will be the price of renewables because even people who don't give a rat's ass about or just don't accept the reality of climate change will be all for renewables if they are good for the economy and their pocket book.

          Even in Germany there are plenty of people who don't see Climate Change as an important issue yet have solar power systems on their roofs because they care about energy independence and their wallets.

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 12:35:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Come on ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            It depends on the poll question.

            Is Climate Change top issue "today"?  Low.

            Is Climate Change a top issue for America's future? High.

            And, as per the Yale work that I cite, the point is that the 'truly divisive' are already lost to Obama -- the deniers aren't more likely to vote if Obama speaks out on climate issues.  However, independents and Democrats -- who believe that climate change matters -- are more likely to vote for a candidate who speaks out re climate issues.

            Hmmm ...

            And, yes, there are many, many, many paths for messaging and discussing -- the same message doesn't motivate 100%.  There will be people who are solely motivated by cost upfront, others by payback time, others by 'resiliency', others by status, and others due to beliefs/understanding of environmental (including climate change) issues.  FYI -- not talking about climate change does not mobilize the last while talking about it doesn't drive even more Rush Limbaugh listeners to the polls, they are already not going to vote for anyone who supports clean energy (no matter the reasons).

            Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

            by A Siegel on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 12:15:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I see your point, but you are ignoring the fact (0+ / 0-)

              that the Climate Change issue is a hot button issue that RW propaganda outlets have used for decades to whip up fervor against Dems.  Look what happened to Al Gore...

              I have met some of these people.  They are people who think that it's all a big money-making hoax.

              And tbh., if those who are strongly concerned about Climate Change aren't on board with getting Obama and the Dems elected over Big Oil/Big Fossil Romney and the Republicans, then they either aren't paying attention or there's something wrong with them.  The choice is quite stark, after all.

              And, in regards to my point of price, you're not getting what I'm saying:  Price will be the key determinant to having renewables implemented on a global scale.  If the price is right, then all the developing nations will leapfrog to renewables instead of adding more carbon to the atmosphere.  That is the most important issue.  It won't help us if it just happens in the U.S. and not in the rest of the world.

              That being said, I think it's great when people raise awareness about Climate Change.

              "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

              by Lawrence on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 03:17:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I just got go-ahead to install a 2.9 kW system (5+ / 0-)

    on my roof, under Consumers Energy feed-in tariff program. It will cost $17,000 to install, then CE will pay me above-market rates ($0.25/kWh) for 15 years. Payback period for me is fairly long (also 15 years), but when that is done, I have the system creating 'free' energy for the rest of its expected life.

    CE is not doing this out of the goodness of their hearts, but because the state legislature mandated that Michigan utilities achieve 10% renewable portfolio by 2020. This is part of their strategy for doing so.

    So, with this incentive plus the 30% Federal renewable tax credit, it makes economic sense for me to do this, as well as being the right thing to do.

    Of course, if the true social cost of coal-fired electricity were priced in, there would be a mad rush to renewables right now. But no chance of that for the foreseeable future.  

    Mark E. Miller // Kalamazoo Township Trustee // MI 6th District Democratic Chair

    by memiller on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 10:14:22 AM PDT

    •  Way to go! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      michaeloberg, Jim P

      Rooftop solar power is the form of energy production with the least environmental footprint of all energy production forms.  Your comment also highlights how renewable energy standards/portfolios can have a positive impact on everyday Americans.

      I wish you a long and satisfied enjoyment of that solar power from your own roof!

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 10:21:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Prices have come down (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When high priced producers like Solyndra went bankrupt it was good news because competition worked to lower costs. The fed investment was not wasted. It contributed to a competition of technologies and processes.

    Nuclear power is dying because it never had intense competition to drive down costs.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 10:14:28 AM PDT

  •  The fact that systems that NEVER produce their (0+ / 0-)

    peak power are sold with their peak power ratings is a fraud and a lie, not that anyone actually cares.

    We'd rather take money out of schools, science laboratories, and - yes - the mouths of the poor to lie to ourselves about this useless and expensive bourgeois fantasy than face something called "reality.".

    And what is "reality."?   It's the fact that after 50 years of mindless cheering for this toxicological nightmare, the solar industry, with hundreds of billions of Euros, dollars, yuan and yen thrown down the rabbit hole, the solar industry cannot even produce one exajoule of the 520 exajoules that humanity uses:  This with about half of the people on the planet inadequately clothed, fed and sheltered.

    And still we're cheering for this nonsense?

    This month, August 2012, the concentration of just one form dangerous fossil fuel waste in the planetary atmosphere -  carbon dioxide - jumped 2.5 ppm compared to August 2011.

    Don't worry.    Be happy.   "Solar installations jumped to "more than ever."

    If I have a dime and next week I have 20 cents and it's more money than I ever had, I'm still not rich, I'm still poor.   Cheering wildly about the extra dime would in fact, seem a bit psychotic.

    It's easy to double a dime, far more difficult to double a billion dollars.

    The solar scam is sort of reminiscent of a dime.   It can appear to jump leaps and bounds because it's done essentially nothing.

    Solar energy has been "jumping by 100%" every year for the last three decades, according to the delusional denialist rhetoric I hear.

    Less than six years ago, The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art - which is supposed to support something called "art" - used a $700,000 grant to buy solar crap and stick it on the roof.

    As of this summer, the system has failed.    It is producing zero energy.   It is now toxic electronic waste, not that we give a fuck where that cadmium telluride or selenide will end up.

    We'll just ship it to China.

    And don't worry, we don't need "art," unless of course, we can call this bizarre bit "performance art" or better "failing performance art."  

    I actually like the arts, and believe artists should be supported, but I suppose that it's not quite as bad as the other solar scams that among other things helped us waltz into a collapsing atmosphere.


    Have a nice solar powered evening.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site