Monday, August 15, 2011
From the first quarter of 2010 to the fourth quarter, installations of U.S. residential solar systems rose from 62 megawatts to 74 megawatts (enough to power about 15,000 homes), and the Solar Energy Industries Association reports that the first quarter of 2011 saw similar gains over the same period in 2010. Considering that the total installed solar capacity in the U.S., residential, commercial, and industrial scale of all types included, still hasn’t cracked 3,000 megawatts (enough to power roughly 600,000 homes), this feels like progress.
Yet if you look at residential solar’s share of the total U.S. solar market, the picture is less bright. In 2009, 36 percent of all installed solar systems were on homes; this dropped to 30 percent in 2010, and some experts think that Prices of solar panels are steadily coming down, but are still not low enough to prompt a mass movement to solar, will continue to fall.
“The way the U.S. solar market is really headed is toward utility projects,” said MJ Shiao, a solar markets analyst with Greentech Media Research. He noted that the growth from the first quarter of 2010 to 2011 was about 14 percent in the residential market, compared with an impressive 119 percent for non residential sectors. Just last week, the U.S. Interior Department approved First Solar’s 4,100 acre solar project in the California desert, which is expected to generate enough electricity to power 165,000 homes......Read the entire article.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. confirmed that its annual national dealer meeting took place here today. The private meeting was attended by representatives from Toyota’s 1,233 U.S. dealers.
Speakers included Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) President Akio Toyoda, Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMA) President and COO Yoshi Inaba, TMS President and COO Jim Lentz, TMS Senior Vice President, Automotive Operations Don Esmond, Toyota Division Group Vice President and General Manager Bob Carter and Vice President-Scion Jack Hollis.
Monday, August 8, 2011
The Environment California Research & Policy Center report, "Building a Clean Energy Workforce: Preparing Californians for New Opportunities in the State's Green Economy," additionally documents nearly 300 green job training programs at more than 130 institutions throughout the state.
Those programs have as many as 15,000 students enrolled annually, the report said. Bernadette Del Chiaro, the center's director of clean energy programs, said green jobs are giving the economy a boost. "Thousands of Californians are seeking refuge from the recession via the growing green energy economy," she said. "Job training programs are a critical engine for developing the work force needed to achieve the state's environmental goals."
That may be true. But some, including economist Christopher Thornberg, figure there's some wiggle room in defining exactly what a "green" job is.
What is a green job?
"Who the hell knows what they classify as a green job?" Thornberg said. "That's what it boils down to. There are very few jobs you could say are truly green - maybe a solar panel installer ... but who else?" The report says that the skills required of a worker in a green job often overlap with those needed for more traditional occupations.
Many workers can transfer their existing skills to a new green job, the study said, if they receive specialized training to fully take advantage of opportunities.
Electricians, for example, must perform many of the same steps when working in an efficient building as in a conventional one. But they must.....Read the entire article.
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