Solar Spreading to Surprising Locations: Global Solar Center National Survey Reveals Unexpected Results

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Global Solar Center has conducted a 50-state survey of solar incentives and adoption, which has revealed surprising results. States that were solar laggards have now become solar leaders. The challenge now for solar is not incentives - it is in the installation market.

Global Solar Center will be a significant driver in the downstream solar market. Based on my experience in the private sector and government, GSC will catalyze the rapid adoption of distributed solar energy

    Global Solar Center national survey reveals unexpected results

  •     New Jersey, not California, has the most generous incentives for solar power in the nation.
  •     With a combination of city, state, and local incentives, homes and businesses in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Colorado can make all their money back from a solar installation in three years.
  •     The new hot market for solar electricity is Pennsylvania with incentives covering 60% of the installation cost.
  •     Solar hot water is now a one-year payback in Florida and southern Texas.

Think California is the mecca for solar in the US? Think again. While California continues to be a leader in solar installations, other states and cities - many from unexpected regions - are rising up as solar powerhouses.
New Jersey, Pennsylvania and others are throwing fuel on the solar fire with generous incentives that are driving adoption at faster rates per capita than California.
Global Solar Center has conducted a 50-state survey of solar incentives and adoption, which has revealed surprising results. States that were solar laggards have now become solar leaders. In 2008, the global solar market increased 50% and the US advanced to third position globally. Additionally, the market demand for solar power has grown an average of 30% per year for the last five years.
The US government has just changed the solar tax credit to a solar grant, funded by the federal stimulus bill. Additionally, hundreds of states and municipalities have launched their own incentives on top of this federal grant.
"With incentives on the federal, state and local level along with the support and expertise offered by our members, like Global Solar Center, this is a great time to go solar," said Monique Hanis, spokesperson for the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) in Washington, D.C.
"ACORE is proud to partner with our member, Global Solar Center, to highlight these important results of the solar power survey. These outcomes underscore the importance of educating residential and commercial customers of the combined incentive packages which we at ACORE have fought hard for and which can dramatically reduce payback periods for clean energy." Michael T. Eckhart, President of American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE).

The challenge now for solar is not incentives - it is in the installation market. Consumers trying to go solar are often uncomfortable with the technology. They also are not well informed on the government incentives which means they cannot determine their cash payback on their solar investment. Finally, with very little name brand recognition, and thousands of installers of variable quality, people don't know who to trust and where to receive accurate information.
"The renewable energy industry in its present state is extremely fragmented and changing rapidly. Customers want to lower their bills but are confused as to where to go and who to trust. Global Solar Center solves this problem by offering unbiased, reliable information, free quotes and a network of qualified installers to get the job done," says Global Solar Center Chairman Jack D. Hidary.

Introducing Global Solar Center:
Global Solar Center's mission is to make the transition to solar power as easy and transparent as possible. Its website http://www.globalsolarcenter.com is the premier destination for solar and related energy and efficiency services, serving both residential and commercial customers by providing free quotes and a marketplace to connect with quality installers.
Global Solar Center certifies alternative energy installers and suppliers, providing a seal of approval in a fragmented market with thousands of suppliers of variable quality. The network is currently comprised of 75 installers in 33 states. Additionally, Global Solar Center offers installers a way to connect with qualified customers and gain access to a suite of tools such as SunSpotterâ„¢ and the Global Solar Center Online Project Manager designed to accelerate the solar installation sales cycle.
Global Solar Center's newest technology uses satellite imagery and solar calculation algorithms to generate accurate quotes. After analyzing energy usage information and ensuring project feasibility, the customer is provided with an accurate, customizable quote that outlines all expected costs and savings associated with a solar installation saving the time and money of an on-site survey.
"Global Solar Center will be a significant driver in the downstream solar market. Based on my experience in the private sector and government, GSC will catalyze the rapid adoption of distributed solar energy," said Andy Karsner, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
"With the US Government now launching the new solar grant program in lieu of tax credits, we expect to see a rapid increase in solar adoption. Investors continue to pour money into solar companies as this market continues to expand. With its satellite-based technology, Global Solar Center will enable customers to take advantage of this government stimulus program." Dave Edwards, former head of clean technology research, Morgan Stanley.
Global Solar Center is led by Jack D. Hidary, a noted expert in renewable energy and clean technologies. Hidary sits on the external advisory board of the National Renewable Energy Lab and his work has recently been featured in Thomas Friedman's new book Hot, Flat, and Crowded. Jack Hidary is also the co-creator of the Cash for Clunkers program, which catalyzed the rapid adoption of higher efficiency vehicles.
For more information please visit http://www.globalsolarcenter.com or email john(at)globalsolarcenter.com.

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John Bourne
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