Whether the state of California and the country as a whole can move away from fossil fuels depends largely on the growth of renewable energy sources such as solar power, as these are the only solution that provides the electricity we need affordably without the pollution of coal and oil or the dangers of nuclear power.
Although much more progress needs to be made, two recent reports highlight the fact that things are moving in the right direction.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration has published a study showing that renewables, along with nuclear power, will be the fastest growing sources of energy over the next several decades, expanding at a rate of about 2.5 percent per year. In terms of renewable energy (RE) sources, much of the increase will come from wind, hydropower and solar.
In addition, NPD Solarbuzz, a market research company for the solar industry, put out a new paper that states the U.S. has passed the 10 gigawatt (GW) benchmark for solar generating capacity, trailing only Germany, Italy and China. The same report predicted that the industry would grow by 80 percent and reach 17 GW in total solar PV installations by 2014.
“The US has now joined an elite group of maturing solar PV markets that have accumulated more than 10 GW of installed capacity,” said Christopher Sunsong, analyst at NPD Solarbuzz, in a news release. “The United States is only the fourth country to reach the 10 GW milestone of installed PV capacity.”