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SEIA reports surge in US installations
The New York Times
Partly driven by an oversupply of cheaper panels from China, the domestic solar market had its best year in 2012, with the growth in installations outpacing that of the global market, according to an annual report from SEIA, the industry's main trade group, and GTM Research, a renewable energy consulting firm. The report found that the amount of new solar electric capacity increased last year by 76 percent from 2011, raising the United States' market share of the world's installations above 10 percent, up from roughly 5 to 7 percent in the last seven years.
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Solar installations: California's 1,000-plus megawatts lead record year
San Jose Mercury News
The amount of new photovoltaic solar panels installed in the United States grew to 3,313 megawatts in 2012, up from 1,887 megawatts in 2011, marking 76 percent growth and another record-breaking year for the American solar industry. A year-in-review report jointly released by SEIA and GTM Research found that more than half of the new installations — or 1,782 megawatts — came from the first wave of large, utility-scale solar power plants coming online in the desert Southwest.
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SEIA president/CEO comments on US sequestration cuts
PV-Tech
Solar developers have been hit with a 8.7 percent reduction in a critical clean energy grant as part of the US sequestration spending cuts. The 1603 Treasury grant was listed among the programs that would be affected by sequestration — automatic spending cuts aimed at reducing the US budget deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years. Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA, commented on how the cut "didn't come as a surprise" to developers.
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Brazilian-made plastic solar panels: A clean energy breakthrough
Inter Press Service
As part of the country's growing emphasis on green tech research, Brazilian scientists have developed plastic solar panels that could revolutionize power generation from this clean, renewable energy source. What looks like a thin, flexible sheet of regular plastic is actually a solar panel printed with photovoltaic cells, which convert sunlight into electricity. This new material, totally unlike the heavy and costly silicon-based panels commonly used to generate solar power today, was created by scientists at CSEM Brazil, a research institute based in the southeast Brazilian state of Minas Gerais.
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Some area schools seeing savings from solar panels
Waco Tribune-Herald
A few area schools are taking advantage of the Texas sun and seeing significant savings from the use of solar panels. Hallsburg Independent School District had almost $400,000 of solar panels installed just before school started last fall, and the district is experiencing a savings of a couple hundred dollars a month on its energy bills.
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Solar cells may supplement smartphone batteries
The New York Times
Why don't power-thirsty smartphones incorporate solar cells to reduce the reliance on batteries? Because in general, the kind of solar cell that can be fabricated in a lightweight, flexible and durable form does not capture enough energy per square inch to make it worthwhile. But a Silicon Valley solar power company thinks it has found a way to adapt the highest-efficiency solar cell chemistry, gallium arsenide, into a form that can be attached to a portable electronic device like a smartphone or a tablet.
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California city wants to bring solar energy to 4 of its parks
Ventura County Star
Four parks in Thousand Oaks, Calif., may soon generate power from a mix of electric lines and solar if the Conejo Recreation & Park District gets the green light. Before Dec. 31, the district hopes to install carports with solar panels at four parks that use the most energy: Conejo Creek Park South, Thousand Oaks Community Park, Dos Vientos Community Park and Borchard Community Park.
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China drives record solar growth, becoming biggest market
Bloomberg
The $77 billion solar-energy industry is forecast to expand the most since 2011, as China becomes the biggest market for the first time and drives annual global installations to a record. New generation capacity will rise about 14 percent this year to 34.1 gigawatts, equal to about eight atomic reactors, according to the average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. That would beat the 4.4 percent growth in 2012, when demand shrank in Italy and France after subsidies were cut.
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Solar plant surpasses 1 million panels
The San Diego Union-Tribune
The millionth solar panel has been installed at a sprawling desert power plant that will feed energy to San Diego-area utility customers as soon as late spring, the project developer said. Omaha, Neb.-based Tenaska announced the milestone at its Imperial Solar Energy Center South, a utility-scale photovoltaic solar plant taking shape across nearly 950 acres of private agricultural land southwest of El Centro, Calif., adjacent to the U.S. border with Mexico.
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Solar power could produce 5 times more energy than oil in Libya
Renew Economy
Libya exports close to $12 billion a year in petroleum products and they are seventy percent of its total exports. The African nation also has an estimated 48 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves. Recent research, however, has indicated the solar potential is even greater than the petroleum productivity.
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New York electric provider's solar energy program shines in new way
Long Beach Patch
Following New York-based Long Island Power Authority's less than stellar performance during Hurricane Sandy and other storms, the sun has become an even more popular choice as a way out from under LIPA's notoriously high electricity rates. LIPA's longstanding Solar Pioneer/Entrepreneur Program, which offers thousands of dollars in cash off the cost of a solar electricity system, just happens to be the one bright light in the beleaguered utility company’s activities.
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Alternative and innovative ways to finance wind, solar
Greentech Media
Getting a power purchase agreement with a utility has never been more challenging for solar and wind project developers, according to renewable energy finance experts, but there are non-traditional ways of getting the price certainty they need to win financing.
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SEIA reports surge in US installations
The New York Times
Partly driven by an oversupply of cheaper panels from China, the domestic solar market had its best year in 2012, with the growth in installations outpacing that of the global market, according to an annual report from SEIA, the industry's main trade group, and GTM Research, a renewable energy consulting firm. The report found that the amount of new solar electric capacity increased last year by 76 percent from 2011, raising the United States' market share of the world's installations above 10 percent, up from roughly 5 to 7 percent in the last seven years.

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Shell sees solar as biggest energy source after exiting it
Bloomberg
Royal Dutch Shell Plc says solar power, a business it abandoned four years ago, may expand into the world's biggest source of energy in the next half century. The proposition that photovoltaic panels will be the main power source by 2070 is one of the "New Lens Scenarios" Europe's largest oil company published in a report on energy demand this century.

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BP bows out of solar, but industry outlook still sunny
NPR
VideoBrief The solar energy business is growing quickly, but future growth will not include oil giant BP. At the IHS CERAWeek energy conference in Houston, BP's CEO made it clear the company is done with solar. BP, which announced it was winding down its solar business last year, says it is still committed to other renewable resources, such as wind power and biofuels production. But the move away from solar is especially striking considering BP's recent history.

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Analysis: Solar trade war promises order bonanza for Taiwan
Reuters
Business has been booming for Taiwanese solar companies since they became the middlemen in a trade war between the United States, China and Europe over the multi-billion dollar solar power equipment market. Green Energy Technology Inc., which makes wafers used in solar cells, is receiving so many orders from Chinese firms seeking to circumvent U.S. import duties that the company is considering renting extra capacity.
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Solar power helps run the presses at North Jersey Media Group
The Record
A five-megawatt solar power facility went online at the Rockaway, N.J., printing plant owned by North Jersey Media Group, which publishes The Record and the Herald News. The solar operation will cover more than 60 percent of the power needs at the 350,000-square-foot plant and produce enough electricity to power 700 homes.
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To find out how to feature your company in the SEIA eNewsletter and other advertising opportunities, Contact James DeBois at 469-420-2618.
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New Jersey energy company bringing 100-kilowatt solar system to Haiti hospital
NJBiz
Princeton, N.J.-based NRG Energy announced it is installing an advanced solar power system at Hospital Bernard Mevs, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, as it continues its effort to provide reliable energy to Haiti. The project is designed to help provide reliable power at the hospital in order to allow physicians to better care for islanders.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    BP bows out of solar, but industry outlook still sunny (NPR)
Shell sees solar as biggest energy source after exiting it (Bloomberg)
SolarCity CEO talks the future of solar power (CNNMoney)
SEIA statement on federal budget sequestration and impacts on 1603 Treasury Program (SEIA)
Save the date: Solar Power International 2013 Oct. 21-24 in Chicago (SEIA)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.




Commentary: Nevada has much to gain from clean energy
development despite the skeptic

Elko Daily Free Press
Nevada Sen. Harry Reid discusses renewable energy in Nevada, commenting that the state has "much to gain by continuing to aggressively develop our resources." Reid believes Nevada has seen vast economic benefits because of clean energy projects, and clean energy "has historically enjoyed strong bipartisan support."
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