America’s Solar Boom, in Charts

Here are some great numbers and news about the solar growth in the U.S.! Spread the word that we need to grow solar in N.C. one rooftop at a time to protect our water, air, land and our health!

Here Comes the Sun: America’s Solar Boom, in Charts
It’s been a bit player, but solar power is about to shine.

Tim McDonnell
Nov. 7, 2014

Last week, an energy analyst at Deutsche Bank came to a startling conclusion: By 2016, solar power will be as cheap or cheaper than electricity from the conventional grid in every state except three. That’s without any changes to existing policy. In other words, we’re only a few years away from the point where, in most of the United States, there will be no economic reason not to go solar. If you care about slowing climate change or just moving toward cleaner energy, that is a huge deal.

And solar energy is already going gangbusters. In the past decade, the amount of solar power produced in the United States has leaped 139,000 percent. A number of factors are behind the boom: Cheaper panels and a raft of local and state incentives, plus a federal tax credit that shaves 30 percent off the cost of upgrading.

Still, solar is a bit player, providing less than half of 1 percent of the energy produced in the United States. But its potential is massive—it could power the entire country 100 times over.

So what’s the holdup? A few obstacles: pushback from old-energy diehards, competition with other efficient energy sources, and the challenges of power storage and transmission. But with solar in the Southwest already at “grid parity”—meaning it costs the same or less as electricity from conventional sources—Wall Street is starting to see solar as a sound bet. As a recent Citigroup investment report put it, “Our viewpoint is that solar is here to stay.”

Some numbers that tell the story:

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installation graph

 

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countries graph
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Sources

Solar growth: Solar Energy Industries Association

New solar installations: SEIA

Sunlight: Sandia National Lab, Energy Information Administration/National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Electricity generating capacity: SEIA

Carbon savings, electricity demand: SEIA, EIA/NREL

Installed PV capacity: International Energy Agency

Solar jobs: The Solar Foundation, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Solar panels on a typical house: NREL

Panel cost, VC funding: Greenpeace; Mercom Capital Group (2013 & 2014)

 

Image credits: Shutterstock (Earth, USA); Maurizio Fusillo/Noun Project (solar panel); Okan Benn/Noun Project (car); Q. Li/Noun Project (chart); Sergey Krivoy/Noun Project (coal trolley); Marcio Duarte/Noun Project (worker); Alex Berkowitz/Noun Project (cash)  

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/11/solar-energy-power-boom-charts

Reminder – Nov Monthly Meeting on 11/19

Sierra Club Nov 19th Meeting Announcement – Movie Night

Note: This month and Dec we are meeting on the 3rd Wednesday of the month instead of the 4th Wednesday due to the holidays.

Please join us on Wednesday Nov 19th for a special viewing of the movie Aerial America: Wilderness. Produced by the Smithsonian Channel, this show presents extraordinary views of wilderness in America. “Some are vital sanctuaries for endangered species. Some can only be reached by plane. All are magnificent. These are the untamed pockets of the U.S. protected by the Wilderness Act of 1964. Take a cross-country flight over icy landscapes in Alaska’s Denali, vast wetlands in Florida’s Everglades, and over 100 million acres of badlands, deserts, and mountains where nature rules. Then learn how the nation’s wildest places are tied to America’s native history, its pioneering spirit, its extraordinary leaders, and its untouched beauty.”

Don’t miss this inspiring show.

As usual, our meeting is at the Mahlon Center in Freedom Park and begins at 6:30pm for pizza and socializing. The formal meeting begins at 7pm.

Parking is free, as is the evening presentation.

We look forward to seeing you.

David Robinson, Chair Central Piedmont Group

The Urgent Case for a Ban on Fracking

Thanks to Food and Water Watch for this excellent report.

The Urgent Case for a Ban on Fracking

September 16th, 2014

In recent years, the term “fracking” has come to mean far more than just the specific process of extracting oil and natural gas by injecting large volumes of various mixes of water, sand and chemicals deep underground, at extreme pressure, to create fractures in targeted rock formations.

Today, the term “fracking” represents the host of problems that this dangerous practice entails. This report details evidence on the many reasons why fracking should be banned, including:

  • Producing massive volumes of toxic and radioactive waste. The disposal of this waste is causing earthquakes and putting drinking water resources at risk.

  • Pumping hazardous pollutants into the air. Fracking utilizes over 100 dangerous chemicals known to cause life-threatening illnesses, including cancer.

  • Destabilizing the climate. Fracking wells release large amounts of methane gas, which is known to trap 87 times more heat than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and contributes greatly to global warming.

  • Disrupting local communities. Fracking presents a broad number of consequences for people living in areas where it is occurring, including damage to public roads, declines in property value, increased crime and an increased demand on emergency services.

  • Turning homes into explosive hazards. Contaminating water wells with methane and other flammable gases from fracking puts families’ health, safety and property at high risk.

  • Causing thousands of accidents, leaks and spills. More than 7,500 accidents related to fracking occurred in 2013, negatively impacting water quality in rivers, streams and shallow aquifers.

Urgent Case Fracking Banurgent_case_for_ban_on_fracking

The “We the People Amendment” won in this election

Some good news from the election. If we want the next election to be different, we need to End Corporate Personhood and Demand Real Democracy!

The National Campaign to End Corporate Personhood and Demand Real Democracy!

Move to Amend

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 5, 2014

Move to Amend Wins Big at the Ballot: Americans Ready to Amend the Constitution

In Massachusetts, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Florida, citizens voted overwhelmingly yesterday for their legislators to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling and declare that only human beings – not corporations – are entitled to constitutional rights and that money is not speech and campaign spending can be regulated.

Residents in dozens of cities had the opportunity to vote on measures calling for an end to the doctrines of corporate constitutional rights and money as free speech, and in every single town the vote was supportive. Often by an overwhelming margin.

In WI where all eyes were on Republican Scott Walker’s victory, twelve communities voted in support of an amendment. Walker and Burke voters alike support amending the Constitution, as not a single measure garnered less that 70% support.

“Money in politics affects our lives everyday,” said Donna Richards, a Move to Amend volunteer of of Fond du Lac, WI. “We pay too much for healthcare. Our taxes go towards corporate welfare and wars, instead of education and protecting our environment. Our energy policy is dictated by Big Oil, and we can’t even pass reasonable gun background checks because the gun manufacturers have bought half of Congress. This isn’t what democracy looks like.”

Tuesday’s vote brings the total number of Wisconsin communities that have called for an amendment to 54. In total, 2.4 million people (41% of Wisconsinites) live in these jurisdictions. Across the country, 16 state legislatures have voted for an amendment, as well as almost 600 towns, villages, cities and other organizations.

In Mentor and Chagrin Falls, Ohio the votes were respectively 66% and 70% support. In Alachua County, Florida, voters supported Move to Amend’s campaign by 72%. The final vote count is still being tallied in the 18 legislative districts that voted last night, but the results were the same as in other states.

“Nearly all Americans share the sentiment that corporations should not have the same rights as people, and big money in politics should be removed,” stated Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, National Director of Move to Amend. “It is time for Congress to pass the We the People Amendment and send it to the states for ratification. The leadership of both parties need to realize that their voters are clamoring for this amendment, and we are only going to get louder.”

Move to Amend is a national coalition of hundreds of organizations and over 370,000 people. The organization also boasts over 150 local affiliates across the country.

# # #

This is big, William! Despite anything else that happened last night, Americans are ready to Move to Amend. It is critical you share our MOTION TO AMEND with everyone you know and ask them to sign up to be part of the campaign.

Please forward this email and ask your friends to sign the Motion to Amend: http://movetoamend.org/motion.

What’s 86 Times More Potent Than Carbon Dioxide?

Send a message to protect our air, health and planet.

Take Action: Protect Our Climate from Methane
Take Action: Big Oil Must Stop Poisoning Communities
Methane — it’s the greenhouse gas that flies under the radar. But pound for pound, methane is 86 times more potent over a 20-year period than carbon dioxide. As the oil and gas industry pushes to frack more, President Obama needs to come up with a plan for cutting this dangerous greenhouse gas. President Obama and his administration can ensure the protection of our climate and our communities by taking an important first step — regulating methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.

Take Action
Tell President Obama and his administration to step up, cut methane, and help us move toward a future where our homes, schools, and businesses are powered with clean energy.

 

Send a message to protect our treasures.

Take Action: Protect Boulder-White Clouds as a National Monument
Take Action: Protect Boulder-White Clouds as a National Monument
Boulder-White Clouds in central Idaho is filled with 150 alpine peaks that rise over 10,000 feet in the air. It is the crown jewel of Idaho wilderness and is treasured by, and outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world. But as population grows and industry looks to expand, the fate of this pristine region is uncertain. Boulder-White Clouds is the largest unprotected roadless forest landscape left in the lower 48 states. But with your help we can change that and protect Boulder White-Clouds for future generations to enjoy.

Take Action
Tell President Obama that Boulder-White Clouds should be our nation’s next national monument.

Colbert Shames GOP Climate Deniers: ‘I am Not a Scientist’

True. Funny. Scarey. We have a lot of work ahead of us!

Im Not a Scientist

Watch Colbert Shame GOP Climate Deniers: ‘I am Not a Scientist’

A favorite meme among climate denier politicians these days is “I’m not a scientist but …” Usually, the “but” is their escape hatch to say they don’t have to believe what scientists are saying about climate change.

And with their election victories Tuesday and takeover of the Senate, putting James Inhofe, author of The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, in charge of the Senate Environment Committee, we’re going to be hearing that line a lot more.

Stephen Colbert shows a video montage of Republican leaders mouthing those words, commenting to appreciative applause from his audience, “Yes, everyone who denies manmade climate change has the same stirring message: we don’t know what the f**k we’re talking about.”

He added, “I hope that these conservative leaders can inspire all the children out there watching to think to themselves, ‘Hey, maybe someday I can grow up to be not a scientist.’”

He then performed his “not a scientist” demonstration of the impacts of rising sea levels by pouring colored water over a map of the U.S., saying, “Remember, kids, if you get unhooked on science early maybe some day you could completely lack any understanding of science and then grow up to be chairman of the Senate Environment Committee!”

Anastasia Pantsios | November 8, 2014

http://ecowatch.com/2014/11/08/colbert-climate-deniers/