solar energy industries

California is making so much solar energy the rest of the country looks like a joke

  • California is the poster child for solar energy: in 2016, 13% of the state’s power came from solar sources. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, California is in the lead for the cumulative amount of solar electric capacity installed in 2016.
  • In fact, the California is generating so much solar energy that it is resorting to paying other states to take the excess electricity in order to prevent overloading power lines. According to the Los Angeles Times, Arizona residents have already saved millions in 2017 thanks to California’s contribution.
  • The state, which produced little to no solar energy just 15 years ago, has made strides — it single-handedly has nearly half of the country’s solar electricity generating capacity. 
  • According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, California reached a milestone: for a few hours, more than half the state’s power needs were sourced from solar energy. This put wholesale energy prices in the negative. Read more. (6/22/17, 12:15 PM)

President Trump is trying to start making good on his promises to coal workers. "He made a pledge to the coal industry, and he’s going to do whatever he can to help those workers,“ a senior administrative official said Monday ahead of the executive order’s signing. 

But there are problems with both Trump’s nostalgic Make America Great Again coal promises and Obama’s radical vision for a reshaped economy. Trump’s ignores the reality of a changing energy industry. Solar jobs, for example, have taken off over the past decade. They now account for some 260,000 energy jobs in the country, the majority of those are held by installers. That’s almost four times the number of coal industry jobs, about 70,000, as of May 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Trump Misses About Energy Jobs In America

Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Year That Was

by Michael Keller

It’s the last day of 2013 and the past year has proven to be chock full of astounding science and technology news. From major advances to the announcement of new initiatives, this year offered glimpses of a better future through the liberal application of the scientific method and some good engineering. We’re recapping a few of them and checking some of the predictions we made at the start of the year.

Some of the biggest stories:

Keep reading