Is the real solar story Solyndra or the incredible solar installation numbers that were released yesterday? In the world of conservative politics and for the gullible, Solyndra and its demise are the "truth" about today's US solar industry.
But in the real world of energy, here are the latest startling US solar facts. The US now has 5,700 megawatts of solar installed and operating, after having about 500 megawatts less than four years ago in 2008. A total of 742 megawatts of solar was installed in just the second quarter of 2012 or more than in all of 2009. http://www.seia.org/news/us-solar-installs-more-doubled-second-quarter.
Most importantly, the US may install 3,200 megawatts of solar this year; a total of 3.4 megawatts of solar is now under construction; and a huge 10,000 megawatts of solar that is awaiting construction have signed power purchase contracts.
All that adds up to the US will certainly have more, and possibly much more, than 15,000 megawatts of solar operating by 2015. Why is the solar installation boom a reality?
As Rhone Resch said: "With cost continuing to come down, solar is affordable today for more business, utilities, and the military."