Advancing clean energy through solar power
While Capitol Hill continues to be the center of continuing debate regarding the way forward for our economy, scores of Americans in Delaware and across the country are taking decisive measures to advance clean energy solutions through solar power.
In order to reengage and revitalize our workforce, and facilitate a long-term sustainable energy industry, the United States must invest in clean alternative energy sources. Over the last year, solar power has emerged as one the fastest growing industries in America. According to the Solar Foundation, a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of global energy needs through greater use of solar energy technologies, more than 100,000 jobs have been created within the solar industry. Between August 2010 and August 2011, an estimated 6,735 new solar jobs were created, accounting for an industry growth of 6.8 percent.
Delaware has taken an active role in bolstering the growing solar industry sector. SolarDock, a Delaware-based solar company, has expanded 400 percent since 2007 and boasts clients that include Fortune 500 businesses, manufacturing and warehouse facilities, schools and universities, retail centers and medical facilities.
The rise of the solar industry has translated into lower unit costs and greater accessibility for consumers. According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s “Tracking the Sun IV” report the average cost of installing residential and commercial solar photovoltaic systems in the U.S. dropped a record 17 percent in 2010, and it continued to drop an additional 11 percent through the first-half of 2011.
Delaware is also on the leading edge of solar technology research. The University of Delaware’s Solar Energy Program continues to build upon groundbreaking research in the efficiency of solar cells. In September, UD’s solar program was successful in winning $7.8 million in research funding through a recent Department of Energy’s solar Sunshot Awards announcement.
Just as Delaware has remained on the forefront regarding clean energy, Chris has remained a staunch advocate of investing in innovative, efficient, and ecologically friendly pathways forward in energy development. In his role as a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, he is committed to finding practical ways to incentivize investments in clean energy projects and boost commercialization of alternative energy industries.
To learn more about Chris’ energy priorities and his work on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, click here.