Solar Power Shines In 2013 With Record Breaking Numbers

recycle-OWC-300There is very good news coming out of the solar energy sector. Thanks to environmentally conscious companies like OWC, almost a third of new U.S. electricity came from solar power last year. Tech media company GigaOM reports that environmentalists long held dream of increased dependence on solar power took a huge step forward in 2013.

According to GigaOM: “Solar power crashed its way onto the U.S. power grid last year and is now fundamentally changing the makeup of how energy is being produced and consumed. Essentially, it’s becoming a mainstream power source: According to a new report from the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research, solar power had another record year in 2013, with 4.75 gigawatts of solar energy systems installed, including 2 gigawatts in just the fourth quarter alone.

That made solar the second largest source of new electricity generation in the U.S. last year, only behind natural gas. New natural gas made up almost half of the new electricity built out, solar made up about a third of new electricity, and wind delivered about 7 percent of new electricity. New coal power only made up 10 percent of the total (high-fives!).”

The GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s quarterly report found the U.S. solar industry had its biggest quarter ever in the third quarter of 2013.

“Without a doubt, 2013 will go down as a record-shattering year for the U.S. solar industry,” said Rhone Resch, SEIA president and CEO. “We’ve now joined Germany, China and Japan as worldwide leaders when it comes to the installation of new solar capacity. This unprecedented growth is helping to create thousands of American jobs, save money for U.S. consumers, and reduce pollution nationwide.  When it comes to preparing for America’s future, clean, dependable and affordable solar energy has become the ‘Little Engine That Could,’ defying expectations and powering economic growth – and, frankly, we’re just scratching the surface of our industry’s enormous potential.”

Of course, OWC has long been ahead of the curve when it comes to preserving the environment. In 2009, OWC’s headquarters in Woodstock, IL became the first tech manufacturer/distributer in the U.S. to become 100% wind powered thanks to a Vestas V39-500 KW wind turbine. And OWC followed 2013’s record-breaking lead for solar energy when we completed our solar panel installation at its Austin facility in January 2014.

OWC solar panel project for its Austin facility is fully installed. (Click to enlarge)

A look at OWC’s solar panels at our Austin facility. (Click to enlarge)

OWC expects the light energy harnessed by the solar panels to provide no less that 32 percent of the building’s annual power consumption. OWC welcomes the fact that more and more companies are following suit, but we are also proud of our accomplishments as industry leaders in going green. It’s just one more thing that separates OWC from the pack!

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