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Solar Power Burned up the Energy-Source Competition in March: What Does the Future Hold?

Solar Power Burned up the Energy-Source Competition in March: What Does the Future Hold?

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Only Solar Energy Added Capacity in the US in March - Image from sierraclub.typepad.com

If you’re a solar power skeptic, then here’s a fact that might shed some light on the power of solar in America (pun intended): For the first time in history, all of the new U.S. power grid capacity in March came from solar energy. The fact that solar power was the only power source that added capacity in March offers a peak into the future potential of this green energy source.

Solar power increased by 44 megawatts last month, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission—a pretty large spike. On the contrary, all other energy sources experienced no increase: These include geothermal steam, biomass, wind, water, oil, nuclear, natural gas and coal.

Installed capacity still remains highest for wind power between January 2013 and March 2013—at 958 MW. In fact, wind energy accounts for more installed capacity than all of the energy sources combined.  The figure is 537 MW for solar, which comes in second, followed by natural gas (340 MW). Installed capacity was virtually nonexistent for coal, oil and nuclear energy.

The figures were quite different just a few months ago: In 2012, although solar and energy wind was still strong, natural gas and coal took the lead in installed capacity/demand. However, something changed—a flip switched—in the first quarter of 2013, when the amount of solar energy capacity that has been added is double that added in all of 2012.

It is evident that green energy sources are picking up speed in America’s race to become more environmentally friendly in the energy sector, and with that, focusing on these green areas is a wise idea for those who are still in the search for promising employment this year.

By YaShekia King

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