One can imagine that when the telephone or automobile (or any type of new technology) came out, there were hucksters and frauds taking advantage of the uninformed. Unfortunately, the solar industry is going through these growing pains.
Solar technology is not new — solar panels have been on satellites since the 1950s — but a combination of factors has allowed the solar industry to explode worldwide over the past five years. While annual solar installations in the United States have skyrocketed over 300 percent from five years ago, customer education has lagged behind.
The East Coast’s solar market is booming, and New Jersey is one of those states that continues to surprise on the renewables front. The Garden State has been one of the more aggressive states when it comes to incentivizing solar, and the results are showing. During a conversation I had with Cy Yablonsky of PowerLutions, a New Jersey–based solar systems designer and installer, he explained why this tiny state is now pulling a relatively big solar punch.
Most of the solar-energy projects completed in New Jersey are located in the central part of the state, according to data from theNew Jersey Clean Energy Program.
Home owners, businesses, schools and others have built nearly 33,000 solar installations throughout the state through the end of January, the NJCEP data shows. These systems have a capacity of more than 1.4 million kilowatts- enough energy to power 14 million 100-watt light bulbs for an hour apiece.