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Entries in Recession (77)

Friday
Apr162010

SEIA - US Solar Industry Trade Association Reports Strong Growth in 2009 Despite Recession

Combination of policies, new business models, declining prices drive expansion in 2009; continued growth expected in 2010

WASHINGTON, DC – The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today released the 2009 U.S. Solar Industry Year in Review, finding 2009 to be another year of strong growth despite the economic recession.
Overall U.S. solar electric capacity, including both photovoltaic and concentrating solar power installations, increased by 37 percent.  This was driven primarily by strong demand in the residential and utility-scale markets, state and federal policy advances and declining technology prices. As a result, total solar industry revenue reached $4 billion, a 36 percent increase over 2008.
The solar industry contributed to the overall economy by adding 17,000 new jobs from coast to coast. The solar industry today employs 46,000 U.S. workers and supports an additional 33,000 jobs in other sectors.
“Despite the Great Recession of 2009, the U.S. solar industry had a winning year and posted strong growth numbers,” said Rhone Resch, SEIA president and CEO. “When the President looks back at how stimulus dollars were invested, he’s going to see that solar was one of the best returns on investments in 2009 for the American taxpayers. In addition to strong policies at the state and federal level, solar’s growth was driven by the emergence of new business models and declining prices. Consumers took notice that now is the best time to go solar.”
 “SolarCity grew aggressively in 2009 based on increasing demand for its full-service solar offering, including financing options that can allow businesses and homeowners to pay less for solar power than they previously paid for electricity. The company has added close to 300 new workers in the last 12 months and has now completed or undertaken more than 7,000 solar projects,” said Jonathan Bass, spokesperson for SolarCity based in Foster City, Calif.
“Demand for solar power is growing at a tremendous rate,” said Ron Kenedi, Vice President of the Solar Energy Solutions Group of Sharp and member of SEIA’s Board of Directors. Sharp’s U.S. headquarters is in Huntington Beach, Calif. “Our residential, governmental, commercial and utility customers want clean and reliable power. We have responded to this demand, and in doing so, have created a wealth of high tech jobs here in the U.S. Additionally, for every new job in our factory, many more are being created in the field – in areas such as design, sales and construction –  where the systems are being installed.”
“Building off the successes of 2009, we expect 2010 to be a breakout year for the U.S. solar industry,” added Resch. “The right policies and industry innovation continue to drive solar’s growth across America. Now we’re talking gigawatts of solar, not megawatts.”
 
Report highlights for 2009 included:
Growth in added solar electric and solar thermal capacity
·         Solar electric capacity growth (including both photovoltaic and concentrating solar power technologies) for 2009 was 37 percent more than 2008.
·         Solar water heating grew by 10 percent over 2008.
·         Solar pool heating growth was 10 percent less than 2008 growth, reflecting the decline in construction and housing markets.
Increased capacity by solar technology
·         Photovoltaic installations (grid-tied) grew by 38 percent
·         Solar water heating grew by 10 percent annual over 2008.
·         Concentrating solar power sector had three new plants come online in 2009. Cumulative CSP capacity in the U.S. reached 432 megawatts with a development pipeline totaling more than 10,000 megawatts.
Capacity by market segment
·         Residential grid-tied PV solar installations showed particularly strong growth, doubling from 78 megawatts to 156 megawatts.
·         Non-residential grid-tied PV solar installations grew 2 percent less than in 2008.
·         The utility market saw notable growth, with utilities tripling their rate of grid-tied PV capacity additions from 22 megawatts to 66 megawatts. The total utility-scale pipeline (across all solar technologies) reached 17 gigawatts, enough to power 3.4 million homes.
Jobs and Revenue
·         The solar industry contributed to the overall economy by adding 17,000 new jobs.
·         Solar industry today supports 46,000 U.S. jobs and supports an additional 33,000 jobs in other sectors.
·         Growth in the industry resulted in a 36 percent increase in overall revenue, totaling nearly $4 billion.
 
Manufacturing growth
Solar manufacturing continued to grow, with a 7 percent increase in PV module production from 2008 to 2009. Internationally, the U.S. ranks behind Europe and Asia in solar manufacturing. There are 58 new solar manufacturing facilities being built in 20 states, including Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Capacity by state
California (220 MW) continued to lead the U.S. in new solar electric capacity in 2009, followed by New Jersey (57 MW), Florida (36 MW), Arizona (23 MW), Colorado (23 MW), Hawaii (14 MW), New York (12 MW), Massachusetts (10 MW), Connecticut (9 MW), and North Carolina (8 MW). Hawaii installed the most solar electric capacity per capita in 2009 (10.4 W per capita). Nevada has the most cumulative solar electric capacity per capita (38 W per capita).
Capacity by nation
The U.S. (481 MW) ranked fourth in new solar electric capacity in 2009, behind Germany (3,000 MW), Italy (700 MW), and Japan (484 MW). The U.S. (2,108 MW) also ranked in fourth place in cumulative solar electric capacity behind Germany (8,877 MW), Spain (3,595 MW), and Japan (2,628 MW). The U.S. ranked in tenth place in new solar electric capacity per capita (1.6 W per capita) and ninth place in cumulative solar electric capacity per capita (6.9 W per capita).
Background Materials
2009 U.S. Solar Industry Year in Review full report:
 
 
 
 
 
Solar Bill of Rights – www.SolarBillofRights.org
 

About SEIA:
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of the solar energy industry. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 members to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy.  Learn more at www.seia.org.

Thursday
Jan282010

ALG Calls on Senate to Reject Bernanke Reconfirmation; Says Fed "Helped Cause the Crisis" 

"For his failure to acknowledge one of the principal causes for the financial meltdown, and to take any responsibility whatsoever for his role in shaping the monetary policies that accommodated the housing bubble, Ben Bernanke must be rejected by the Senate." ALG President Bill Wilson.

January 27th, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government (ALG) President Bill Wilson today called upon the U.S. Senate to reject the confirmation of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to a second term, saying "the Fed with its easy money and loose credit policies throughout the 2000's accommodated the housing bubble that, when it popped, wrecked the economy."

Bernanke's cloture vote is scheduled for Thursday morning.  Wilson specifically urged members to vote "no" on cloture, saying "The best way to defeat Bernanke's reconfirmation is to vote 'no' on cloture."

Wilson said that Bernanke needed to be held accountable for his role in the financial crisis: "For his failure to acknowledge one of the principal causes for the financial meltdown, and to take any responsibility whatsoever for his role in shaping the monetary policies that accommodated the housing bubble, Ben Bernanke must be rejected by the Senate."

Wilson cited Stanford economist John Taylor, who in writing for the Wall Street Journal stated, "the simple observation that the Fed's target for the federal-funds interest rate was well below what the Taylor rule would call for in 2002-2005."

Taylor continued, "By this measure the interest rate was too low for too long, reducing borrowing costs and accelerating the housing boom. The deviation from the Taylor rule, which had characterized good monetary policy during the previous two decades, was the largest since the turbulent 1970s."

"Bernanke does not share this widely-accepted critique," said Wilson.  "He lays blame for the crisis at the feet of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for their roles in the sale of mortgage-backed securities all over the world."

"How can the Federal Reserve be expected to fulfill its mission of price stability and prevent another dangerous bubble if it will not even acknowledge what it did to inflate the last bubble?" Wilson asked, adding, "The Senate must consider the culpability of the Fed, which helped cause the crisis under Bernanke's watch."

Wilson said that "While it is fair to hold Fannie and Freddie accountable for the trillions of dollars of worthless securities they sold, what Bernanke fails to acknowledge is that the Fed's easy money policies incentivized the mortgage loans to be given in the first place through lower-than-called-for interest rates."

In a recent column on the topic, ALG Senior News Editor Robert Romano wrote, "The Fed's complicity in the crash of 2008 cannot be understated. The housing bubble was greatly accommodated by the Federal Reserve, which poured the necessary cash into the banking system through monetary easing and low interest rates throughout the 1990's and 2000's. The spigots were on—and the 'liquid' flowed into banks on a gargantuan level, much of it into home sales."

The article points to the True Money Supply index from the Ludwig Von Mises Institute which found that the money supply rose from about $1.787 trillion at the end of 1990 to about $5.268 trillion by the end of 2007, representing a 295 percent increase. 

Mortgage debt grew even faster than the money supply. In 1990, outstanding mortgage debt held was $3.805 trillion. By the end of 2007, total mortgage holdings rose to $14.568 trillion, a 383 percent increase.  Romano wrote that without the money from the Fed initially, the bubble would have been "impossible."

Wilson said that "In order prevent the next crisis, we need an accurate accounting from government officials as to what went wrong with the housing bubble, so that steps are taken to ensure that it never happens again.  We're not getting that from Ben Bernanke or the Federal Reserve at all under his leadership."

Wilson concluded, "For helping to cause the crisis and for failing to take responsibility for the errant Fed policies that contributed to it, Ben Bernanke must not be reconfirmed by the Senate."

 

Thursday
Nov192009

Daily Grind: State Recessions, Big Government Obsessions 

State Recessions, Big Government Obsessions
It's time for wayward states to fire public employees.

Peddling Our Way to Tomorrowland
The new Obama "Velocipedes for Clunkers" program will be a great success.

The Wire: Scozzafavaing the Local Yokels
Today's edition covers the GOP base, false stimulus facts, and an update on NY-23

ALG in the News: Slumlord Millionaire
Americans for Limited Government's own cartoonist William Warren is featured in the St. Mary's Today's website in Southern Maryland.

 

Thursday
Oct222009

Daily Grind: Simulating Misery 

Stimulating Misery
With recoveries like this, who needs recessions?

Return to Sender
The latest News Release from the National Press Club about the US Postal Service needs to be read word for word.

The Barstool Economist: Where Are the Defenders of Capitalism?
The real question is posed.

Too Hot Not To Note: Obama Poised to Cede US Sovereignty in Copenhagen, Claims British Lord Monckton
Anthony Watts transcribes Lord Monckton's great speech at the Minnesota Free Market Institute on the current proposal that would cede U.S. Sovereignty.

 

Wednesday
Oct142009

NetRight Daily: Today's Top News on NRN 

The Panic Bloom:  The U.S. could well be in the midst of a panic bloom. As noted by Gabor Steingart in 2006—brilliantly foretelling of the global economic crisis to come—right before a plant is about to die, it produces "one last batch of healthy shoots." These, he writes, "can hardly be distinguished from healthy plants." And so it is with the U.S. economic recovery that, some misguided analysts conclude is now fully underway.

Fishing the Free Markets:  I found a stretch of river with pools and pockets of easy-flowing water. After 20 minutes, I felt a strike on my line, and a brown trout surfaced in his struggle to free himself from the hook. I nearly had the trout to shore, but with one last thrash he freed himself and slipped back into the river.

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