The United States is now one of four countries to achieve 10 gigawatts of solar power capacity, and installations are only expected to accelerate. [CleanTechnica]
America’s solar market has broken through the clouds to shine as only the fourth nation to pass the 10 gigawatts (GW) installed solar capacity milestone.
Fast-growing solar photovoltaic (PV) deployment levels since 2010 pushed the US into the ultra-exclusive 10 GW club, reports NPD Solarbuzz in the latest North America PV Market Quarterly report.
“The US has now joined an elite group of maturing solar PV markets,” said Christopher Sunsong of NPD Solarbuzz. “Only Germany, Italy, and China have more installed PV capacity than the US.”
Solar PV has become one of America’s fastest-growing energy sources in recent years. NPD reports the solar PV market has expanded at a compound annual growth rate of 50% since 2007, and 83% of the 10 GW capacity was installed within the past 14 quarters. During the first half of 2013, more than 1.8 GW of new solar PV capacity was installed in the US.
But instead of peaking, NPD predicts installations will accelerate over the next 18 months. Cumulative solar PV installations are forecast to grow an additional 80% by the end of 2014, putting the US on track to pass 17 GW installed solar PV capacity.
After initially refusing to comment on the story, Google said that the reason they were hosting a fundraiser on Thursday for Sen. Jim Inhofe was because the corporation has a data center in Oklahoma, not because it agreed with the Senator’s position on climate change. [Guardian]
New “smog-eating” pavement, developed by Dutch scientists, can reduce air pollution by up to 45 percent [Huffington Post]
Peru unveiled a program that will provide solar panels to poor households currently unconnected to the electricity grid, which could benefit 2 million people. [Latin American Herald Tribune]
The House accepted two budget amendments that would partially replace proposed funding cuts for renewable energy and environmental cleanup by cutting the Department of Energy’s administrative budget. [The Hill]
The U.S. produced and burned less coal this year than estimated, yet the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects exports to tick up 1.8 percent. Consumption is still expected to jump 6.7 percent from last year as natural gas prices rise. [Platts]
House Republicans are upset at President Obama’s proposed climate policies after a utility decided to close two coal plants in Pennsylvania. [The Hill]
So remember that time the Senate decided to not permit oil and gas exploration in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge? The State of Alaska may have forgotten, as it proposed an exploration plan for the refuge on Tuesday. [AP]
EPA’s recent retreat on a study linking fracking to drinking water contamination in Wyoming is not the only time the agency has retreated on fracking investigations and studies. [High Country News]
New York is spending $22 million in an attempt to save one of its lowest-lying neighborhoods from being swallowed up by the ocean, raising questions as to whether this type of aid is worth it in areas projected to suffer the greatest from sea-level rise and storm surges. [New York Times]
Antarctic krill, which play an essential role in the Southern Ocean ecosystem, could struggle to hatch as oceans become more acidic. [Guardian]
Another USA Today special report on climate change features the impact of intensifying drought in the U.S. [USA Today]
The Great Barrier Reef’s coral cover has declined 50 percent since 1985, and its overall condition is now classified as “poor” — changes due in part to extreme weather in Australia. [Guardian]
For many species, evolution is too slow a process to keep up with the Earth’s rapidly changing climate, a new study has found. [Science Daily]
However, if you can fly and have a short lifespan, adapting to climate change should not be a problem for you. A new study on a population of great tits near Oxford found that small birds whose populations evolve quickly to adapt to new environments stand a better chance of surviving high-carbon emissions scenarios. [LA Times]