Year-over-year solar installations in the U.S. are up! Again! Up up up!

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Greentech MediaClick to embiggen.

From Greentech Media:

[T]he U.S. solar photovoltaics (PV) market installed 684 megawatts in the third quarter (Q3) of 2012, representing 44-percent growth over the same period last year. This quarter marked the third largest on record for the U.S. PV industry and raised the total installed capacity through the first three quarters of the year to 1,992 megawatts — already surpassing 2011’s annual total of 1,885 megawatts.

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Cumulatively, there are now 5.9 gigawatts of PV (which converts sunlight directly into electricity) operating in the U.S. from more than 271,000 installations. Combined with concentrating solar power facilities (CSP), which convert the sun’s heat to electricity, there are more than 6.4 gigawatts of solar electric capacity installed in the U.S., enough to power more than one million average American households.

But! Fox News is worried! “California doubles down on solar power, as critics question cost, job results.” Oh no!

Your internet lesson for the day: This is what is known as “concern trolling.” Fox News is not legitimately worried that perhaps solar power — which it thinks is great, mind you! — is suffering setbacks. No, Fox News wants to see solar power vanish in a gigantic gasoline-fuelled fireball because renewable energy goes against Republican party orthodoxy.

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The Fox story contains this paragraph:

Solar also promised to be a cheap source of power, fueled by the sun. What the industry didn’t say is the technology only converts a fraction of the sun’s energy, and the intermittent nature of sunshine does not produce the power promised.

“What the industry didn’t say is the technology only converts a fraction of the sun’s energy.” Saying that was maybe unneccessary? The sun, it turns out, is an incomprehensibly massive, fusion-reaction-powered star. Every second, it buffets the Earth with enough energy to fuel our current demands for thousands of years. So, yeah, solar panels don’t capture all of that energy.


While solar has been painted an environmentally clean power, especially when compared with carbon-based fossil fuels, it is not without impact and growing opposition among preservationists.

I mean, what do you say to that?

Solar power generation and capacity continue to grow in the United States. If you’re unclear on why that’s a good thing, change the channel.