Tech: Sunny Forcast

Solar energy on the rise

Photo courtesy Stirling Energy Systems

Chances are you live in an area that gives incentives for going solar. Most states offer investment credits, rebates, and sales tax or property tax waivers to consumers and businesses alike. And it’s working. In 2006 America’s solar energy industry continued its double-digit annual growth rate, and if manufacturers can keep up with demand, it will only expand. Solar energy comes in two forms: solar thermal (ST) uses the sun to heat water; solar photovoltaic (PV) uses the sun to generate electricity. They’re both eco-friendly and increasingly popular. PV shipments in the US tripled in 2006, from 206,511 in 2005 to 618,302; and the number of ST systems shipped climbed from 14,680to 19,532 during the same period.

Issue 25

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