Renewable energy | Ecotrope

By 2025: Enough Solar Panels To Power Portland

Ecotrope | July 25, 2012 4:35 a.m. | Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 1:30 p.m.

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Given the right incentives, a new report concludes, Oregon could generate 10 percent of its electricity with solar power.

Given the right incentives, a new report concludes, Oregon could generate 10 percent of its electricity with solar power.

Don’t be fooled by the cloudy skies and seemingly endless rainy days.

Even in Portland, homeowners can generate a significant amount of solar power, according to a new report from Environment Oregon.

The report projects solar power could supply 10 percent of Oregon’s electricity by 2025 – up from far less than 1 percent today – through a combination of rooftop solar panels, solar water heating systems and utility-scale solar power plants.

Using all of the rooftop space with adequate sun exposure statewide could, in theory, produce 10 gigawatts of power by 2025, the report found. It projects that it would be feasible to develop around 30 percent of that potential in the next 13 years.

The result would be 3 gigawatts of potential solar energy, or roughly 6 percent of Oregon’s projected electricity needs in 2025.

“That is enough electricity to power 250,000 typical Oregon homes – or all the homes in the city of Portland,” the report concludes.

According to a new report from Environment Oregon, a 1 kilowatt solar panel installed in Portland today will produce power at full capacity about 12 percent of the time, the same panel in Bend will reach capacity 15 percent of the time. In dreary Astoria, it would reach peak power about 11 percent of the time. But compare all of the above with Germany, the world's most advanced solar market, where it would produce at capacity just 9 percent of the time.

According to a new report from Environment Oregon, a 1 kilowatt solar panel installed in Portland today will produce power at full capacity about 12 percent of the time, the same panel in Bend will reach capacity 15 percent of the time. In dreary Astoria, it would reach peak power about 11 percent of the time. But compare all of the above with Germany, the world's most advanced solar market, where it would produce at capacity just 9 percent of the time.

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