This is a significant milestone—USA is about to pass Germany in solar installations. Now Germany got her lead when PV cells were in their pricy early-adapter stage and good German solar sites are much more rare than in USA. So the German accomplishment is nothing to sneeze at. But given commodity PV cell pricing and the fact that every square foot from St. Louis to the Pacific is a better solar site than anything they have in Germany, it was probably only a matter of time before there was a leadership change.
And remember folks, this is an energy change. Economical solar power will alter the landscape of the real economy as certainly as the discovery of oil.
It's a good thing we are starting to get our arms around the energy problem because we have a LOT of work to be done addressing the rest of our commodity habits.
U.S. rooftop solar power shatters third quarter recordsNew solar installations are on track to surpass Germany in 2013
LINDSAY ABRAMS DEC 10, 2013
More American homes than ever before — nearly 31,000 — had solar panels installed on their roofs in the third quarter of 2013, the Solar Energy Industries Association announced Tuesday. Combined with utility scale projects, the U.S. gained a total of 930 megawatts of photovoltaic solar capacity, a 35 percent gain from the previous year. And we’re set to nearly double that amount.
The increase was lead by large projects, but residential installations, which increased by 49 percent from 2012, showed the most rapid growth. According to SEIA, this was driven by state renewable energy initiatives. And indeed, the top markets were California, Arizona, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Nevada, all of which offer incentives for going solar.
By the end of 2013, SEIA predicts, the total of individual solar projects in the U.S. may reach 400,000, accounting for over 10 gigawatts of power capacity. It’ll mean, among other things, that the U.S. will have surpassed Germany, the current world leader in solar, for the first time in 15 years. As Businessweek points out, this will be accounted for in part by reduced government subsidies in Europe.
“Without a doubt, 2013 will go down as a record-shattering year for the U.S. solar industry,” Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA, said in a statement. “We’ve now joined Germany, China and Japan as worldwide leaders when it comes to the installation of new solar capacity.”
“This is what a renewable energy future looks like,” added the World Wildlife Fund in a statement, “with more and more of our neighbors switching to energy sources that keep our air clean and minimize our impact on climate change.” more
This Cute Graphic Breaks Down The 3 Million Pounds Of Commodities Needed To Support Each AmericanSAM RO DEC. 9, 2013
"Demand on resources will be great, as each person requires a huge supply of resources throughout his or her lifetime," notes commodities guru Frank Holmes.
This is an important consideration for commodities investors, especially as China begins to loosen its one-child policy.
"Consider that in the U.S., over the course of a lifetime, each person needs 72,556 gallons of petroleum, 6.63 million cubic feet of natural gas, 978 pounds of copper, and 27,416 pounds of iron ore, according to the Minerals Education Coalition. Even though China currently uses fewer resources per capita compared to developed countries, the nation is quickly catching up to developed world levels."
Here's a cute diagram from US Funds listing all of the stuff that gets consumed to support each American born today. more