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North Carolina Potential World Leader in Solar Power

July 12, 2010

RALEIGH, N.C. - Among the flurry of bills passed late last week by the North Carolina General Assembly is one that could increase solar power production in the state. Solar energy supporters insist that North Carolina, with 250 sunny days a year, has the potential to become a world leader in solar energy production. If signed by the governor, the Renewable Energy Incentives bill would further the state's potential, they add.

Elizabeth Ouzts, state director of Environment North Carolina, says sunny days are the key.

"North Carolina has tremendous opportunity to grow solar power. We have twice as much sun as Germany, which is now the world's solar leader, and we already have the technological know-how within the state."

The bill increases incentives for individuals and businesses to use solar power. It also provides tax incentives to companies in the state that manufacture solar panels. Gov. Perdue is expected to sign the bill into law.

Ouzts says creating solar power benefits more than just the environment. There is also potential for economic improvement.

"This is really important because it not only means there will be more solar power in the state, but it also means we can get the job benefit of solar power. Per megawatt hour of electricity, solar actually creates nine times as many jobs as coal does."

Since 2007, solar energy production has increased six-fold every year in North Carolina. Based on that rate, 14 percent of the state's energy will come from the sun by 2030.

More information is available at, or by calling (919) 833-0015.

Stephanie Carroll Carson, Public News Service - NC