Now that the Presidential campaign is over, perhaps the real solar story can become the dominant narrative. Perhaps now, media and public discussion can move beyond Solyndra or the inevitable bankruptcies in a big global, highly competitive business. All that creates the mistaken impression that solar is imploding.
In fact, America is at the start of a solar revolution that will shake the energy world as much as shale gas, and that's not just talk. The most recent installation numbers for the US solar industry are blindingly bright. http://www.seia.org/research-resources/us-solar-market-insight.
The Solar Energy Industries Association reports that 684 megawatts of solar were installed in the third quarter, up 44% from third quarter 2011, and a record for third quarter installations. SEIA further reports that the country has operating 6.4 megawatts of solar PV and CSP. Extraordinary!
The third quarter saw an all-time residential solar installations--118 megawatts. Another 257 megawatts were installed during the quarter in the commercial market.
The top five states for installations during the third quarter were California, Arizona, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Nevada or two regional clusters in the Southwest and Northeast.
And here is the best news of all. SEIA predicts that 1,300 megawatts of solar will be installed in the 4th quarter, torching yet again the solar record book, and that 3,200 megawatts will be installed during 2012.
Those numbers are the real solar story, and it is an amazing one indeed!