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SOLAR'S ONLINE EXPLOSION

With over 83,000 photovoltaic installations nationwide, 2012 was the year of solar - the fastest growing industry in America. Reformed state policies, lower component prices, affordable financing options and a rise in electricity prices across the country were all [and continue to be] important factors in the growth of America’s solar industry.

The availability of solar industry related statistics and the increased demand for obtaining knowledge on the subject of solar has created a wave of activity in online solar energy communities. Whether users are creating blog posts, commenting in discussions or producing infographics, content creation has certainly spurred solar’s online buzz.

With the creation of The Solar Foundation’s interactive State Solar Job Map, we were inspired to create a compelling piece of content on our own, to not only contribute to the online renewable energy community but to captivate them. And so the Solar Smackdown was born… The Solar Jobs Smackdown – Maryland vs. Virginia Renewable Energy Corporation, a residential solar panel installer based in Baltimore, Maryland, came up with an interesting concept to compare the number of solar jobs, along with other solar industry metrics, in a one-on-one, state vs. state graphical representation.

Creating a fun, yet competitive way to compare Maryland and Virginia’s solar initiatives was no easy feat. Although, with a history of rich rivalry, separated by our nation’s capital, this matchup was certainly a no-brainer. After putting together a compelling design, the following six statistics (and their national rankings) were chosen to compare each state’s solar initiatives:

1. Number of solar jobs

2. Total solar companies

3. Solar jobs per capita

4. Number of solar homes

5. Grading of net metering policies

6. Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) targets.

Data for the infographic was drawn from the Solar Foundations ‘Solar States Job Map’, an interactive collaborative that compiled data from multiple sources, which includes the:

• Bureau of Labor Statistics

• National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

• SEIA’s National Solar Database

• U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

• Freeing the Grid 2013

• Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) Since the smackdown’s inception, we have received numerous requests from solar advocates across the country to create a match-up involving their state. Smackdowns that we’ve created so far include:

• Maryland vs. Virginia

• Alabama vs. Tennessee

• California vs. Texas

• North Carolina vs. Virginia

• Oregon vs. North Carolina

• Georgia vs. Louisiana

• Appalachian States Showdown (a 5-way matchup between KY, WV, VA, TN and NC) With an influx of updated solar statistics and information, the public can keep up to date with: what is happening in the solar industry, what parts are expanding [and shrinking], as well as new technologies and innovative techniques that make our lives a little bit easier and the world a cleaner place.

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Written by: Renewable Energy Corporation


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