Boulder, Colorado recently announced that it would commit to being powered by 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, and the solar industry has created one out of every 80 jobs in the United States. Read these stories and more in this month’s renewable energy news roundup.
As Solar Price Drops, Utility Interest Spurs Growth in Non-Traditional Market
Recent reports from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory highlight the fact that, as solar prices continue to drop, utilities are developing more and more of the resource, especially on the utility-scale side. Since 2015, the national median installed price for residential solar systems have fallen 5 percent, while non-residential systems have seen costs drop between 7 percent and 9 percent. Meanwhile, utility-scale solar has fallen the most, totaling 12 percent since last year. And the price of building solar power plant generation has fallen 60 percent since 2009. As usual, falling prices are driving solid growth. With the 7,260 MW solar buildout in 2015, the utility-scale solar sector broke its own growth record with a 6 percent jump from 2014.
Boulder Commits to Going 100 Percent Renewable
Boulder, Colorado recently announced that it would commit to being powered by 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, making it the 17th U.S. city to make such a pledge. If Boulder successfully transitions to 100 percent renewable-sourced electricity, it would be the second city in Colorado to do so — in 2015, Aspen began powering all buildings in the city with renewable energy. Currently, three U.S. cities — Aspen as well as Burlington, Vermont, and Greensburg, Kansas — obtain 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources.
Clean Energy Jobs Are Exploding in America
The solar industry alone has created one out of every 80 jobs in the United States since the Great Recession. When including wind, LED lighting, and other clean energy categories, that number could be close to one in 33. In fact, the solar industry has hired more veterans than anyone else, retrained coal workers and even provided a soft landing for oil and gas workers who have lost their jobs. The vast majority of solar and wind workers are trained in less than six months because their previous work experience and training is completely transferrable.