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Solar Energy Technology

Renewable energy accounted for 12.2 % of total primary energy consumption and 14.94 % of the domestically produced electricity in the United States in 2016. Hydroelectric power is currently the largest producer of renewable electricity in the country, generating around 6.5% of the nation's total electricity in 2016 as well as 45.71% of the total renewable electricity generation. The United States is the fourth largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world after China, Canada and Brazil.

The next largest share of renewable power was provided by wind power at 5.55% of total power production, amounting to 226.5 terawatt-hours during 2016. By January 2017, the United States nameplate generating capacity for wind power was 82,183 megawatts (MW). Texas remained firmly established as the leader in wind power deployment, followed by Iowa and Oklahoma as of year end 2016.

Solar power provides a growing share of electricity in the country, with over 50 GW of installed capacity generating about 1.3% of the country's total electricity supply in 2017, up from 0.9% the previous year. As of 2016, more than 260,000 people worked in the solar industry and 43 states deployed net metering, where energy utilities bought back excess power generated by solar arrays. Large photovoltaic power plants in the United States include Solar Star (579 MW), near Rosamond, California, the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, a 550 MW solar power plant in Riverside County, California and the Topaz Solar Farm, a 550 MW photovoltaic power plant, in San Luis Obispo County, California. Since the United States pioneered solar thermal power technology in the 1980s with Solar One, several more such power stations have been built. The largest of these solar thermal power stations are the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility (392 MW), southwest of Las Vegas, and the SEGS group of plants in the Mojave Desert, with a total generating capacity of 354 MW.

Other renewable energy sources include geothermal, with The Geysers in Northern California the largest geothermal complex in the world.

The development of renewable energy and energy efficiency marked "a new era of energy exploration" in the United States, according to the former President Barack Obama. In a joint address to the Congress on February 24, 2009, President Obama called for doubling renewable energy within the following three years. Renewable energy reached a major milestone in the first quarter of 2011, when it contributed 11.7 % of total national energy production (2.245 quadrillion BTU of energy), surpassing energy production from nuclear power (2.125 quadrillion BTU) for the first time since 1997. In his 2012 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama restated his commitment to renewable energy and mentioned the long-standing Interior Department commitment to permit 10,000 MW of renewable energy projects on public land in 2012.

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Matching Solar Energy Technology Colleges

Ecotech Institute
At least 2 but less than 4 years; Private for profit; $13,140 average out-state tuition; $13,140 average in-state tuition
Texas State Technical College
At least 2 but less than 4 years; Public; $10,080 average out-state tuition; $5,123 average in-state tuition
Arizona State University-Tempe
Four or more years; Public; $26,684 average out-state tuition; $10,104 average in-state tuition
Pennsylvania College of Technology
Four or more years; Public; $20,790 average out-state tuition; $13,860 average in-state tuition
Delaware Technical Community College-Terry
Four or more years; Public; $8,700 average out-state tuition; $3,480 average in-state tuition
Coconino Community College
At least 2 but less than 4 years; Public; $11,025 average out-state tuition; $3,150 average in-state tuition
Santa Fe Community College
At least 2 but less than 4 years; Public; $4,290 average out-state tuition; $1,800 average in-state tuition

Scholarships for Solar Energy Technology Majors

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Engineering Technology Scholarship - NJIT

New Jersey Institute of Technology

$7,260 Varies See Details

Engineering Technology Scholarship - NJIT

New Jersey Institute of Technology

award

$7,260

deadline

Varies
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Barry Goldwater Scholarship

Idaho State University

Up to $7,000 Varies See Details

Barry Goldwater Scholarship

Idaho State University

award

Up to $7,000

deadline

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Montana Minds Scholarship - University of Montana, Montana Tech

University of Montana at Montana Tech

$6,000 Varies See Details

Montana Minds Scholarship - University of Montana, Montana Tech

University of Montana at Montana Tech

award

$6,000

deadline

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DEED Student Research Grant / Internship

American Public Power Association

$4,000 Varies See Details

DEED Student Research Grant / Internship

American Public Power Association

award

$4,000

deadline

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Heritage Scholarship (COT) - University of Montana, Montana Tech

University of Montana at Montana Tech

$3,568 Varies See Details

Heritage Scholarship (COT) - University of Montana, Montana Tech

University of Montana at Montana Tech

award

$3,568

deadline

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Western Undergraduate Exchange Scholarship (COT) - University of Montana, Montana Tech

University of Montana at Montana Tech

$3,290 Varies See Details

Western Undergraduate Exchange Scholarship (COT) - University of Montana, Montana Tech

University of Montana at Montana Tech

award

$3,290

deadline

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ExxonMobil/PTEC Scholarship - Baton Rouge Community College

Baton Rouge Community College

Up to $4,500 Varies See Details

ExxonMobil/PTEC Scholarship - Baton Rouge Community College

Baton Rouge Community College

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Up to $4,500

deadline

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Cyrus Scholarship

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Up to $5,000 Varies See Details

Cyrus Scholarship

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

award

Up to $5,000

deadline

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Robert K. Anderson Scholarship

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Up to $2,500 Varies See Details

Robert K. Anderson Scholarship

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

award

Up to $2,500

deadline

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Kermit Anderson Scholarship

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

$2,500 Varies See Details

Kermit Anderson Scholarship

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

award

$2,500

deadline

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