PV installations on the rise
According to a new study from the Solar Energy Industries Association, the momentum behind the growth in solar photovoltaic (PV) installations remains strong in the U.S. Annual additions to grid-tied solar PV capacity have risen year-on-year throughout the past decade. So far, Calif. is the leader in PV penetration, with approximately 258 MW of PV capacity installed in 2010. Other states emerging as significant PV players include New Jersey, with solar capacity at roughly 137 MW, as well as Florida, Colorado, Arizona, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
Sources: U.S. Market Insights 2010 Year in Review and First Quarter 2011 - Executive Summary, Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research, www.seia.org
Solar workforce grows
The Solar Foundation has just released its second annual review of the domestic solar workforce. The “National Solar Jobs Census 2011: A Review of the U.S. Solar Workforce” finds that hiring for the solar workforce is on the rise, with more than 100,000 Americans employed in this industry as of August 2011. The industry's job growth rate is 6.8%. For comparison, there was a 2% percent net job loss in fossil fuel power generation and an economy-wide expectation of 0.7% growth over the same period. At the state level, California continues to be the national leader in solar employment, with 25,575 workers.
New guide features gas sippers
The DoE and EPA recently released the “2012 Fuel Economy Guide,” which arms consumers with information about choosing a more energy-efficient vehicle. Fuel-saving vehicles use a variety of fuel types and come in a number of classes and sizes, with many advanced-technology vehicles debuting on this year's annual list of top performers. Leaders within each vehicle category, from two-seaters to big SUVs, include widely available products such as conventional gasoline models and clean diesels. Full information is available at www.fueleconomy.gov.