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Another record year for US solar
SEIA
Released on March 14, the SEIA/GTM Research U.S. Solar Market Insight 2012 Year-in-Review reveals a historic year for the U.S. solar energy industry, with total installed solar capacity growing 76 percent over 2011. The report predicts strong growth into 2013 and beyond. Download the free executive summary, or purchase the full report to see 2013 state solar forecasts and more. SEIA members save 50 percent off the full report and have access to members-only resources including a press release and letter- to- the-editor templates and our new Solar Data Cheat Sheet.
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See related story: Solar trade group reports surge in U.S. installations (The New York Times)




New Jersey solar market hits 1-gigawatt milestone
SEIA
The New Jersey solar market hit a new milestone when it eclipsed the 1-gigawatt mark for total installed solar electric capacity. This is enough solar electricity to power 139,000 homes. New Jersey now ranks third in the nation in solar energy installations, according to a new study released last week, thanks to declining system prices and the strong, consistent support from the state's policymakers, including its robust net metering policies and the United States' first Solar Renewable Energy Credit program, an innovative market-based incentive for solar generation.
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Arizona No. 2 nationally in solar panel installation
Arizona Daily Star
Solar panel installations in the U.S. grew 76 percent in 2012 as the cost of panels and the surrounding equipment continued to fall, according to an annual report by a solar trade group. California led the nation in installations in 2012, with 1,033 megawatts, followed by Arizona with 710 megawatts and New Jersey with 415, according to the report issued by SEIA and GTM Research.
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Japan adds 1,178 megawatts of mostly solar energy in 9 months
Bloomberg
Japan added 1,178 megawatts of mostly solar clean-energy capacity in the nine months to the end of December as the country curbs its reliance on nuclear power. Japan added 1,119 megawatts of solar to the 4,800 megawatts already installed, according to data released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on March 13.
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World's largest solar power towers to rise in California
Renew Economy
Two leading solar innovators have teamed up to build the world's largest solar power towers in California, and we can all thank Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar for that. Abengoa and BrightSource Energy are the two companies involved in the project, a 500-megawatt, utility-scale behemoth called the Palen Solar Electric Generating System.
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New York solar energy program shines in new ways
Lindenhurst Patch
Following the 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 long-standing 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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Connecticut revamping renewable energy strategy
New Haven Register
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is proposing broad changes for Connecticut's Renewable Portfolio Standard. DEEP Commissioner Dan Esty said restructuring the portfolio will give the state more flexibility to make renewable power a larger share of the energy mix while helping reduce electricity costs.
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Solar is cheaper than coal in New Mexico
Sustainable Business
Although new solar plants can't yet compete on price with legacy coal plants, we are nearing the point where their economics look better than those for new coal plants. That's happening in New Mexico, where First Solar plans to sell solar electricity from its new 50-megawatt Macho Springs project to El Paso Electric Co. at 5.79 cents per kilowatt-hour.
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Why Wal-Mart loves solar
The Motley Fool
Who is the largest commercial owner of solar? The answer: Wal-Mart, which has now covered 200 of its 4,500 domestic stores and distribution centers with solar panels — and it plans to expand that number. It just announced a deal with SolarCity to install solar panels on up to 60 more stores in California, bringing solar to 75 percent of stores in the sunny state.
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Commentary: Solar and wind deserve government support
Fayetteville Observer
Solar panels are sprouting like tobacco plants in fields across southeastern North Carolina. Alternative energy sources are growing more viable and interesting to investors. Despite the rebirth of the oil and natural gas industries in the U.S. and elsewhere, we need those alternatives, both for the future and today, as a warming climate takes a disruptive toll on the environment.
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Forecast: Solar power to hit cost parity
Triple Pundit
Many said renewable energy could only survive if it were propped up with government subsidies. But 20 years of struggling, solar power has become an overnight sensation, having now surpassed the 100-gigawatt threshold in many places, without subsidies. The International Energy Agency projects that solar installations will more than double to 230 gigawatts by 2017.
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TRENDING ARTICLE
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Another record year for
US solar

SEIA
Released on March 14, the SEIA/GTM Research U.S. Solar Market Insight 2012 Year-in-Review reveals a historic year for the U.S. solar energy industry, with total installed solar capacity growing 76 percent over 2011. The report predicts strong growth into 2013 and beyond. Download the free executive summary, or purchase the full report to see 2013 state solar forecasts and more. SEIA members save 50 percent off the full report and have access to members-only resources including a press release and letter- to- the-editor templates and our new Solar Data Cheat Sheet.

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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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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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Proposed bill looks to light up Wisconsin's solar sector
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Wisconsin is missing out on a wave of solar power development that's going on around the country. One example: Kohl's Department Stores around the country generate three times as much power as all the solar electricity being generated in Wisconsin today. What's driving the boom in other states is third-party financing, which allows a company such as SunEdison, a builder of solar power plants, to own the panels on the roof of a Kohl's store. That's not allowed in Wisconsin, but would be under a bill being drafted in Madison.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    SEIA reports surge in US installations (The New York Times)
Brazilian-made plastic solar panels: A clean energy breakthrough (Inter Press Service)
Solar installations: California's 1,000-plus megawatts lead record year (San Jose Mercury News)
New York electric provider's solar energy program shines in new way (Long Beach Patch)
SEIA president/CEO comments on sequestration cuts (PV-Tech)

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


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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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Vermont solar businesses oppose anti-renewables legislation
Solar Industry
More than 150 businesses, including several solar firms, have sent a letter to Vermont legislators stating that Senate Bill 30 is "an unbalanced piece of legislation that will upend decades of well-planned, statewide energy permitting, stifle jobs and restrict access to affordable, clean energy."
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Abu Dhabi opens world's largest concentrated solar power plant
Jakarta Globe
Oil-rich Abu Dhabi has officially opened the world's largest Concentrated Solar Power plant, which cost $600 million to build and will provide electricity to 20,000 homes. The 100-megawatt Shams 1 is "the world's largest concentrated solar power plant in operation," said Sultan al-Jaber, the head of Abu Dhabi's Masdar, which oversees the emirate's plan to generate 7 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020.
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A different solar milestone: 1.5 gigawatts of rooftop in California
KCET-TV
The California Independent System Operator tracks only solar energy that's fed into the grid from commercial facilities. If you have solar on your rooftop and run your electric meter backward as you feed solar into the grid, your contribution isn't counted. Environment California announced another solar milestone that helps flesh out the fuller picture of California solar — at least 1,500 megawatts of rooftop solar has now been installed in the state.
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