San Diego Sees 54% Rise in Solar Power Installations

The city of San Diego issued permits for more than 2,200 solar energy systems last year, compared to just over 1,200 the year before, the mayor’s office reported Wednesday.

City officials credited lower costs, technological innovations and streamlined solar permit processing services for the 54 percent jump.

Increasing the use of solar and other renewable resources is a key element of the city’s plan to address the effects of climate change.

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American Solar Job Force Hits New Record Growth, Now Stands at 260,000-Strong

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Experiencing its biggest growth year yet, the solar industry in the United States now employs more than 260,000 Americans, according to The Solar Foundation’s seventh annual National Solar Jobs Census released today.

“Last year, one out of every 50 new jobs created here in America was a solar job,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “That’s an incredible finding that proves that solar energy is increasingly becoming a linchpin in America’s economy. When communities across America open their doors to solar, the jobs come racing in.”

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Solar Installations Reach Milestone: 300GW of global PV capacity

The growth of photovoltaic technology around the world continues, and the global success story has now reached a further milestone: 300 gigawatts (GWp) of total installed solar power capacity around the world. This was announced by the German Solar Association in Berlin, on the basis of their own calculations. In 2016 there was a global deployment of solar power systems with an additional nominal capacity of around 70 gigawatts. That amounts to a jump of around 30% in new deployment compared to the previous year 2015. The photovoltaic systems installed in 2016 alone generate around 90 terawatt hours of clean solar power. In mathematical terms, this new capacity would supply 25 million additional households with an annual electricity consumption of 3500 kilowatt hours.

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Making a persuasive case for clean energy in 2017

The new year is nearly a month old, but 2016 remains in my head; what a year it was. The Chicago Cubs won the World Series, giant pandas were taken off the endangered species list for the first time in 26 years, relations with Cuba improved drastically and Nintendo, seemingly out of nowhere, introduced to the world Pokémon Go.

With the U.K. exiting the European Union; the loss of pop, movie and cultural idols across the board; and intensifying conflict in the Middle East, 2016 was a rollercoaster of emotions, culminating in a jolting election that many of us will be processing for a long time to come.

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US solar power employs more people than oil, coal and gas combined, report shows

Solar energy in the US employs more people than traditional coal, gas and oil combined, a report has found, in a revelation that could undermine Donald Trump’s argument that green energy isn’t good for the economy.

The latest report from the US Department of Energy (DOE) reveals solar energy accounts for the largest proportion of employers in the Electric Power Generation sector, with wind energy the third largest, while the coal industries have declined in the past 10 years.

Solar energy employed 374,000 people over the year 2015-2016, making up 43 per cent of the sector’s workforce, while the traditional fossil fuels combined employed 187,117, making up just 22 per cent of the workforce, according to the report.

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Berkeley Lab finds negligible potential rate impacts from distributed solar

The “cost shift” from solar system owners to other utility customers is one of the most widely propagated myths around PV. And despite this obfuscation being repeatedly disproven by many studies, it remains widely propagated by utilities and either poorly informed or outright captured politicians and regulators from Maine to Arizona.

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) has recently made its contribution to the debunking of this canard, but has taken another tack. Instead of looking at whether solar is imposing a cost shift on other customers, the national lab instead looks at the overall potential rate impact of distributed solar under a variety of valuations, and compares this to other rate impacts.

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4 ways PACE can help you land commercial projects

The property-assessed clean energy (PACE) model is an innovative mechanism for financing energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements on private property. PACE programs allow local governments, state governments, or other inter-jurisdictional authorities, when authorized by state law, to fund the up-front cost of energy improvements on commercial and residential properties, which are paid back over time by the property owners.

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Predictions 2017: 5 takes on what the new year will bring for renewable energy

The solar sector compelled people to stand up and take notice in 2016. Following the federal tax credit extension for rooftop solar, and falling costs in the supply chain, the resource became competitive with natural gas and coal generation.

Investments in energy storage proliferated, and more states levied requirements for more renewable energy. But on the flip side, policies historically nurturing the resource have come under fire. Net metering, a billing mechanism for excess energy sent from rooftop solar arrays, and the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act of 1978 are facing reform efforts from utilities across the nation.

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Solar Energy Associations Unite to Open Capital for Wide-Scale Industry Growth

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Solar Energy Finance Association (SEFA) are joining forces and forming a new entity under SEIA to support wide-scale, low-cost solar deployment through better access to investment capital.  Under SEIA, the two entities will better serve their membership and act as a single voice and organizing force for current and potential solar developers, investors and lenders.

The associations will create the Solar Energy Finance Advisory Council (SEFAC), which will be used to leverage the expert insight of its participating members to expand and lower the cost of investment capital to meet the growing needs of the solar industry.

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4 reasons to be excited about sustainability in 2017

2016 brought significant progress on global sustainability issues.

The beginning included the launch of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, aimed at addressing global poverty and environmental protection.

Then, about halfway through the year, the Paris Agreement received a significant boost with support from the two biggest greenhouse gas emitters: the U.S. and China.

Despite the headway made, the end of the year brought serious uncertainty and fear about some gains being reversed. While we can expect progress on many fronts in 2017, in others, environmental advocates will have to cross their fingers. To that end, here are four highlights to watch in 2017 — the good, bad and the ugly.

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