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Category Archives: solar energy alternative energy industry Obama administration clean-energy race climate bill

When solar panels return to White House next spring, the Obama family will become the most famous family with solar plans on their roof – but they will not be alone. In fact, solar energy experts are saying that 2010 was “its most successful year ever.”
            As a guest blogger for Climate Progress, Rhone Resch, the president of Solar Energy Association (SEIA), recounts why the solar industry will not be eclipsed by its fossil fuel rivals and how 2010 was turning point for the growth of alternative energy industries.
            Besides the White House’s October 5 announcement about installing solar panels, the Obama administration provided the solar energy with its first federally-funded project powered entirely by sun rays. Two days after the White House announcement, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar approved a 3,500 acre project to be built in San Bernadino County, Ca. by BrightSource Energy. This massive project will generate enough energy to power 111,000 to 277, 500 homes.
            Resch’s main argument is the unity of solar business and all green advocates. He writes:  “The message that we have brought to the industry is one of unity. The solar industry has to play as a team if it wants to beat back a growing chorus of attacks from the fossil fuel industry, which views (correctly) our growth as a threat to their bottom line.”
Stats & Projected Goals to Consider:
·         Over the last two decades, 74,000 permits have been approved for oil and gas drilling on public lands. And up until last week solar had received zero.  
· By 2015, the industry aims to install enough new solar electric capacity across the nation every year to power 2 million homes, making solar America’s number one source of newly installed energy capacity. (That would reportedly be enough solar energy to replace 10 coal plants annually).
·  In 2009, the U.S. did not crack the top 5 countries that use energy for renewable sources. (1)Germany – 29% (2)Spain 20% (3)India/Brazil – 9% (both mainly from hydroelectricity) (4)UK – 8.4% (5)France – 8.1%
· The U.S. ties with China (4% of energy from alternative energy), even though both lead in investment. However, the U.S.’s $18.6 billion investment trails behind China’s $34.6 billion. And the climate bill fall-out chronicled in the New Yorkerdemonstrates that the Chinese Politburo (unknown term) understand the urgency of environmental degradation better than American congressional representatives – including some who would rather apologize to the company who caused the largest oil spill in American history.