SolarCity: These 3 Maps Show the Absurd Growth Potential of Rooftop Solar in America

Solar power in America is on a roll. Over the last decade, the cost of solar installations in the U.S. has fallen by more than 70 percent, and every year has had more solar installed than the last.

Since 2010, the nation’s solar power capacity has grown fifteenfold. And employment in the U.S. solar industry recently surpassed 200,000 people -- that’s more than the oil and gas extraction industry, and three times more than the coal-mining industry.

It’s really just the beginning though. To grasp solar’s enormous untapped potential, we can start by looking at home rooftop solar. There are already more than 1.1 million home solar rooftops in the U.S. today -- including more than 300,000 SolarCity installations -- but the coming years are likely to make that look small.

Using publicly available data, we’ve produced the three maps below to convey the absurdly large growth potential of home rooftop solar in America.

East Bay Times: City Council Approves Major Tesla Facility Expansion Plan

The Fremont City Council on Tuesday night approved Tesla Motors’ plan for expansion that could potentially double the company’s manufacturing site in the city’s south end.

According to city reports, the plan lays out “a development pattern for the site in order to facilitate future growth” for the company.

Tesla’s master plan includes workups for a potential 4.6 million square feet of new structures for expanded operations to support, among other things, the rollout and production of the company’s still-unreleased Model 3 car.

Christian Science Monitor: GM Executive in Europe Says 15 Percent of Cars Sold in Europe by 2030 Will Be Electric

The 238-mile 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car should begin deliveries in the coming weeks.

But sales of the Bolt EV's European cousin -- the Opel Ampera-e -- won't begin until well into the next year.

Because it offers a range of over 200 miles at a mainstream price ($37,495, before federal, state, and local incentives), Chevy has high hopes for the impact of the Bolt EV on the U.S. electric-car market.

Business Insider: Demand for Electric Cars Is Low -- but Automakers Continue to Roll Them Out

One of the biggest critics of electric cars also runs one of the worlds largest automakers.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne has as much as begged customers to avoid buying his electric vehicles (EVs) because he loses so much money on them.

Demand for EVs isn't just weak -- it's practically nonexistent. Globally, electric cars have captured only 1% of the market.

Fairfax County Times: Zombie Survival Kit Project Helps Students Understand Renewable Energy

Falls Church High School geosystems and biology teacher Brian Schwenk engaged his students in a renewable resource unit by weaving in some pop culture: he challenged them to use what they had learned to develop a zombie apocalypse survival kit project. Falls Church High School is a Fairfax County public school.

Schwenk -- a current Knowles Science Teaching Foundation fellow -- was reviewing various types of energy sources, including renewable resources, with his geosystems class. To help the students understand practical applications of what they were learning, Schwenk teamed up with head librarian Laura Potocki to develop a project that would help the students not only learn about the various environmentally friendly sources, but put them into action.