Solar energy technologies has significantly advanced in this century.Many buildings are now incorporated with passive solar in their designs.The cost of using solar hot water systems is very close to conventional systems in some areas. And as the cost of solar panel continues to decrease, these systems will be more widely used. The aim of solar industry in future is to provide half of the electricity of U.S. by 2025.
Germany and Japan have been leading in solar deployment for years.But the United States is catching up.Let us take California as an example.During 2000 and 2001,California experienced the rolling blackouts and soaring energy prices.This have motivated its leaders to diversify energy sources. In 2006, California Solar Initiative was established, which dedicates $3.2 billion over 11 years to develop 3,000 megawatts of new solar electricity, equal to placing solar power systems on a million rooftops.
Other states in US are following California. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Colorado and Arizona have specific requirements for solar energy as part of their renewable electricity standards. Many more states offer production incentives, rebates, tax incentives, loan and grant programs for solar industry. Even the federal government is offering a 30 percent tax credit (up to $2,000) for the purchase and installation of residential solar power systems and solar water heaters.
As the solar industry continues to expand, there will be occasional bumps in the road. For example, growing demand for manufacturing-quality silicon from the solar industries has raised the cost of PV(photovoltaic ) cell which is used to make solar panel.In addition, some utilities continue to put up roadblocks for grid-connected solar power systems. But these problems will be overcome, and in future solar energy will play an increasingly integral role in ending our national dependence on fossil fuels, combating the threat of global warming, and securing a future based on clean and sustainable energy.