Department of Energy

Solar in Demand

June 15, 2012

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Kyle Travis, left and Jon Jackson, with Lighthouse Solar, install microcrystalline PV modules on top of Kevin Donovan's town home. | Credit: Dennis Schroeder.

Kyle Travis, left and Jon Jackson, with Lighthouse Solar, install microcrystalline PV modules on top of Kevin Donovan's town home. | Credit: Dennis Schroeder.

In case you missed it…

This week, the Wall Street Journal published an article, “U.S. Solar-Panel Demand Expected to Double,” highlighting the successes of the U.S. solar industry following a recent study released by the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research:

The U.S. market for solar panels is likely to double in 2012, thanks to government policies and falling prices, although new tariffs on panels imported from China could contribute to slower growth in 2013, according to a new study.

U.S. developers are likely to install about 3,300 megawatts of solar panels this year, nearly double the amount installed in 2011, according to a study released Wednesday by the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research.

The global solar-power market has been turbulent for manufacturers, as prices have plunged amid an oversupply of panels. But the falling prices, as well as faster development for large-scale solar-power plants, have driven strong demand for solar equipment in the U.S., the report found.

This article comes on the heels of another important announcement from the SunShot Grand Challenge event in Denver, Colorado, where Secretary Chu announced the SunShot Incubator program, an initiative tackling the hidden costs that drive up the price of owning and installing a PV system. At this same conference, the Energy Department launched the America’s Most Affordable Rooftop Solar competition to encourage companies to lower the cost of solar installations. The goal of SunShot is to bring the cost of solar energy down to compete with the price of traditional energy sources. Just in the past four years, the cost of solar energy has dropped to a fourth of what it was -- a huge step toward positioning the U.S. as the global leader in clean energy.

Investments like these are just one part of the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above approach to energy -- meaning reduced costs for consumers, better protections for the environment, and true energy independence for the nation.

We’ve already seen tremendous growth in the renewable energy sector and energy efficiency realm, but there’s still work to be done. As communities recover, we’re seizing every opportunity to support the American businesses and jobs that make up the backbone of our economy. This is just one more example that the clean energy economy is already here, creating jobs and helping secure our energy independence.