Solar Energy Facts > General
Solar Energy Becoming More Popular Than Wind Energy
Over the past decade, people have started to talk more about the benefits of solar energy and realizing what they could potentially gain if they were to install a system in their home or business. Solar energy is increasingly becoming a national discussion, which is a step in the right direction. In fact, the Duke Energy told Bloomberg that the United States will be focusing more on solar energy this year than wind energy.
Duke President Gregory Wolf told the source the cost of solar panels has decreased by 60 percent within the past two years, which has been a major driver of more people becoming interested in solar energy. As PV panels become more affordable, homeowners and business owners are realizing they can save significant amounts of money on their electricity bills.
According to the source, the United States installed about 3.2 gigawatts of solar energy last year and can potentially reach 3.9 GW by the end of 2013. Since people are beginning to realize the benefits of solar are long term and that the renewable energy source isn't just a trend that was meant to go away in a few years, more people will decide to install a solar installation this year. Duke said it expects the amount of solar energy installed over the next 12 months to top wind energy installations for the first time in the United States.
What Other States Have Been Following the Solar Trend
Some states have been catching on to the benefits of solar more so than others, and some have made large strides in the renewable energy industry. One of those states is Hawaii, which installed more solar panels in 2012 than it did during the past six years combined. According to the Pacific Business News, electricity customers on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island installed about 92.8 megawatts of solar photovoltaic generating capacity last year.
Another state that has made a significant impact on the solar energy industry is New York. According to EarthTechling, the state has been known over the years for being one of the pioneers of the renewable energy sector and will most likely continue to do so within the next few years.
One way New York City is making it more affordable for its residents to live is by offering solar energy power to consumers in affordable housing units. According to EarthTechling, one of the projects is a 197-unit affordable housing development called Gateway Elton in Brooklyn's East New York neighborhood. A source close to the project told the source he solar array on the roof of the housing unit is the largest residential array in the state of New York. The project will help cut emissions in the area, contributing to resident's health, as well as cut electricity costs.
“East New York has the one of the worst asthma rates in the entire city,” the source said. 'We understand where we're building and don't want to do anything to negatively impact people's health. The solar was icing on the cake. In New York City, roofs can have lots of obstructions that make solar less effective. But with Gateway Elton, we decided that since we had the height and the lack of obstructions, we were just going for it.”
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