Hi, Sunshine!  Look around for a second.  Notice anything different?
 

That’s right, you clever little kitten, you.  We’ve made some major changes to our blog, including:

  • Enhanced Sharability – We’ve made it super-easy to share posts on Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn.
  • Simple Subscription – Look to the upper right and you’ll see a one-click way to subscribe to the blog via RSS.  For those of you who aren’t BFFs with RSS, we have an equally easy way to get our posts via e-mail.
  • Riveting Content – Moving forward we’re going to be focusing more on energy innovation, solar lifestyles, and “The Life and Times of Solar People.”

We hope you’re as excited about these changes as we are.  We want this blog to be a two-way conversation, so join in on the dialogue and let us know what you think!  Also make sure you’re following us on Facebook and Twitter.  We’re going to be doing some hot stuff this summer, and we would love for you to be part of it.

 

Okay.  Now that we have all of the housekeeping (blogkeeping?) out of the way, it’s time to kick things off with thoughts on the growth of solar from one of our all-time favorite people – Danny Kennedy.  Danny is Sungevity’s co-founder and President, the spirit animal of the solar industry, and an all around great guy.  With no further ado, heeeerrrrre’s Danny!

 

[[Feel free to grab a sip of water or do a few stretches as Danny takes the stage]]

 

[[Enter Danny, wearing a fabulously bright orange shirt and matching fedora.  SHHHH!  He’s starting!]]

 

The Ascent of the Sun (Part 1 of 3)

 

As of Midsummer’s Eve, 2011, one stand out trend is apparent in our economy and in what is powering our lives– the sun is rising! Indeed, it is an unprecedented rate at which solar electricity is becoming dominant in our global energy supply. I know that’s a significant claim, so in a few coming blog posts I’ll try to provide some historical supporting data to get you as excited as I am about the “solar ascent”.

 

First, consider the ridiculous growth of the solar electric industry, the fastest growing business segment over $100 billion in value in the global economy. We have been doing 65% compounded annual growth rates for 5 years straight through the great recession! With that expansion comes social good like new jobs, pollution reduction, and happy customers saving money on electricity.

solargrowth

Admittedly, solar is still providing only a small percentage of the overall power portfolio, but remember that from little things, big things come. One very big thing that occurred is that more solar got installed last year than nuclear power plants.  And solar combined with wind and biomass now make up more of the electricity supply than all installed nukes do. Plus many gigs of nuclear power are now being shut down post-Fukashima.

Why is solar eclipsing nuclear power? Because solar is safer, faster to install and, most importantly, cheaper.

solarnukecost

It probably makes sense to anyone that has paid attention to the nuclear waste debate or the news that a big chunk of Japan has just become a no-go zone. Nuclear power is costly, and as costs mount, rather than being too cheap to meter, it is too expensive to use.

 

What do you think? How does solar compares to other conventional or incumbent electricity generating options? Are we cheaper than coal? What about gas? Head to the comments and place your bets on when we’ll cross over that line for other kinds of electricity generation: 2011, 2020, 2100 or some other time!

 

Next week: The Ascent of the Sun – Part 2, Stepping on the Gas!

 

Posted by Bliss Dennen

Bliss served as Sungevity's social media and brand manager at a critical moment in Sungevity's history, helping successfully grow the Rooftop Revolution to the Eastern Seaboard.

2 Comments

  1. Fears over nuclear safety will provide boon to solar power……….. In light of the recent concerns over the safety of nuclear power caused by the potential disaster at a Japanese plant in the wake of that countrys massive earthquake many experts now predict solar projects will receive a significant boost.

  2. You make many good points but be careful with your nuclear comparisons. Excepting the nameplate capacity, 17 GW of PV is not the same as 17 GW of Nuclear plants. The Palo Verde Nuclear complex for example, has a nameplate capacity of approximately 4 GW but it produces as much electricity annually as all those 17 GW of PV put together. I’m not saying nuclear is better – these are simply different animals. Apples and Oranges as they say. PV doesn’t work like a Nuclear plant but that’s fine because it doesn’t need to. In general we should avoid this comparison.
    I think of it like so. There’s a new game in town. It’s our game. Let’s make our own rules.

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