The Washington Post: Solar energy is playing surprisingly well in conservative parts of the U.S.

Solar energy boosters have a lot to be happy about these days. The growth in their industry has been tremendous, so much so that proponents are now able to wave around some pretty impressive stats. Like this: There are now over 173,000 solar jobs in the United States.

But here’s a perhaps less appreciated reality – solar is also catching on in a lot of states that we don’t traditionally think of as being liberal, do-gooder territory.
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NasDaq: Solar Really Can Be Cheaper Than Coal

The ongoing volatility in the oil markets has led many major companies to dramatically slash their capex budgets and workforces in a bid to survive. The knock on effect of this can be seen in a burgeoning solar industry that is seizing the opportunity to finally make a significant breakthrough into the market, regardless of subsidies.

Research and consultancy group Woods Mackenzie believes we may have a shale-like boom on our hands. According to their new report “Is solar the next shale?” distributed and utility scale solar is nearly ready to transform power markets. And for this, we can thank China.
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GiGaom: Big growth, but also losses, for solar company SolarCity

By the end of 2014, solar installer and financier (and soon to be solar panel manufacturer) SolarCity had installed about 1 GW worth of solar panels cumulatively on the rooftops of commercial and residential buildings. For comparison’s sake, that’s like the total of a really large coal or natural gas plant, but scattered across tens of thousands of rooftops.

But SolarCity confirmed in its fourth quarter and year-long earnings Wednesday that it will install another gigawatt of solar panels in 2015 — basically doubling its entire amount this year.
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NPR: What’s It Like To Live Without Electricity? Ask An Indian Villager

Imagine living in a world with little or no light when the sun set. That’s the plight of an estimated 300 million Indians — a quarter of the population, mostly the rural poor.

They’re not left completely in the dark. Kerosene lamps provide light. Cow dung patties provide fuel for cooking. But these options take a toll on time and health. That’s why India’s prime minister is calling for global partnerships to bring green energy to the powerless millions.
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Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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