A major federal solar program is going to run out at the end of the year, but lobbyists inside the solar industry are working for a one-year extension. The grant program includes a 30% tax credit on many solar powered projects, as well as other types of renewable energy projects. Experts indicate that by extending the program for one year, over 37,000 jobs will be created and 500 megawatts of renewable energy will be produced. The solar industry may take a major hit if the subsidy is not extended at the end of the year, because the cost of a solar energy system (commercial and residential) would skyrocket.
In Australia, the popularity of solar energy is so intense that electricity companies are concerned about the amount of power being produced and fed back into the electrical grid. When too much power is fed into the grid, many electric companies worry that voltage levels will rise and affect appliances, as well as cause the price of electricity to increase. In Queensland, Australia over 22,000 rooftop solar panels have been installed in just three months. The anticipated power production is so great that a major electricity company, Horizon Power, has begun enforcing capacity limits for many new solar panel installations.
Unusual locations are being considered for new solar energy hot spots. Chilly, mountainous regions like the Himalayas and the Andes Mountains are being considered as having incredible solar energy potential. The reasoning lies in the fact that the locations get an abundance of sunshine, but are colder than most regions (like those in the Southwest desert) thereby increasing the efficiency of photovoltaic cells. The Himalayas are considered especially viable because of their proximity to demanding solar locations such as India and China.