2013 was a record-breaking year for renewable energy. Today, we look back at some of the biggest stories.
As we discussed last week, 2013 was a record-breaking year for solar in the US— but solar soared worldwide. Power Africa will help spur investment in renewables, Germany continued to lead the world in total renewable installations, and after the Fukushima nuclear crisis, Japan has been steering toward massive solar power plants. Meanwhile, Latin America is being eyed as the next frontier for solar power.
Community-owned solar power has truly taken root across America after already being popular abroad for years. Close to home, Community Renewable Energy has been working with Granville’s Solar Farm Co-op to develop Central Ohio’s first community-owned solar learning center. In fact, solar gardens are popping up in states that, unlike, say, California, may not strike you as obviously “solar friendly,” including Vermont, Minnesota, Colorado, Iowa, and Michigan.
Public policy makes community solar even more practical and achievable– some of this plays out on the state level, while some federal changes are opening up new markets, such as new guidelines from the IRS that might make it easier for those with residential solar installations to take advantage of tax credits.
Businesses, cities, nonprofits, and schools continue flock to solar– from small school districts to giant corporations to IKEA. Monona, Wisconsin took a unique approach to solar power, partnering with a private company to install third party-owned panels within the city. Veterans Homes, hospitals, and too many universities to list are adopting solar technology as well, and we anticipate the trend continuing through 2014.
This year also showed us the flexibility of solar technology. From solar-powered airplanes, boats, trains and motorcycles to vertical residential PV panels, to a solar panels on the moon, it’s hard to imagine what solar power will bring next.
With vocal backing from the Obama administration, solar power and other renewables are poised to become even more mainstream. We at Community Renewable Energy can’t wait to see what awaits in 2014.