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Solar industry wants to do its part

Industry report: If development is accelerated, solar could contribute 15 percent of our energy needs by 2020.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor on

I'm guessing that in the post-Copenhagen days, many of the various renewable energy sector proponents -- for solar, wind, ocean energy, biofuels and so on -- will release data with guess-timates of how much their technology could contribute toward the world's energy needs in the coming decade.

The Solar Energy Industries Association released a report in mid-December 2009 estimating solar technology's potential to meet 15 percent of the energy demand in the United States by 2020. The report, which is called "Expanding Solar Energy in the UnIted States," offers development scenarios that would produce this result. Roughly 12 percent of the power would come from photovoltaic solar panels and concentrating solar power plants while the remaining 3 percent would be attributed to solar thermal heating systems.

If solar power contributions can ramp up to the 15 percent mark, it could mean the creation of 880,000 jobs and a reduction in total carbon dioxide emissions of roughly 10 percent, according to the report.

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