Looking back at 2012, one thing is certain in the sea of the year’s uncertainty; renewable energy experienced significant growth. The U.S. solar industry grew at a rate of 13.2%. A global oversupply of solar panels lowered prices for American consumers, resulting in higher demand and greater profits for solar installation companies. SolarCity’s IPO proved to be successful despite claims that its stock would immediately plummet. And even with excessive political attacks by opponents of renewable energy – over $250 million spent in the 2012 election – the industry has gained strong public support across the country. Industries such as wind, biofuels, geothermal, hydropower, electric transportation, and solar have achieved success in 2012 but the next step in supporting growth is creating a more stable policy landscape.
Originally published in the National Journal's Energy Experts Blog
By Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn
President of the American Council On Renewable Energy
It is important to address our country’s fiscal issues by promoting economic productivity in the short term while reducing the deficit over the long term as I mentioned in my last week’s Energy Experts blog post. It’s fundamental to an overall healthy economy to extend key tax credits that create American jobs and generate private investment, and the PTC is one of the important tax credit programs.
In the first 10 months of 2012, 46.22% of new electrical generating capacity brought online was from renewable energy. This year the average prices of renewable energy decreased across the board. The wind sector has seen a steep decline in the cost of operating and maintaining wind turbines—38% in the past four years. The solar industry has watched prices decrease sharply and as a result, solar installation is booming in America. A new report by GTM Research and SEIA shows 44% growth in solar installation during the third (3) quarter of this year compared to the third quarter of last year. All types of renewable energy are contributing in a significant way to America’s energy portfolio. However, with the looming fiscal cliff, it is important to realize that in order to continue growing key American industries that provide good jobs to Americans, key tax credits must be part of the fiscal solution.
The following blog post was originally published in the 25x25 blog and was written by President of the American Council On Renewable Energy, Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn.
The Senate should be commended for overwhelmingly voting this week to eliminate harmful restrictions on the U.S. military's efforts to expand its use of biofuels. Two overwhelmingly bipartisan votes in the upper chamber now focuses attention on the House of Representatives, where some lawmakers are continuing to insist on language in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would prohibit the military – the nation’s biggest user of oil and gasoline ‑ from expanding its use of biofuels.
By James Marvin, A former Navy Seal and currently a clean-energy consultant at Environmental Entrepreneurs.
Every day around the world, technologies that are developed by the military help our troops carry out missions that keep America safe. But beyond strengthening our national security and giving Americans peace of mind, military investments in technology yield another dividend — economic growth. And a new report from Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) shows just how big that growth can be. >>View blog post at www.stripes.com