According to new industry data, a growing sector of the U.S. solar energy industry has reached a major new milestone, with 5 million square feet of building-integrated solar air heating collectors now installed in North America. These systems represent 250 megawatts (MW) of thermal energy and displace nearly 100,000 tons of CO2 each year from the atmosphere.
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President & Chief Executive Officer
In the last eight years as President and CEO of SEIA, Rhone Resch lead the industry's charge on the creation of the 30 percent investment tax credit, the 1603 Treasury Program, and over 18 other provisions that have helped grow the U.S. solar industry from a 52 MW/year market in 2004 to nearly a 2,000 MW/year market today. Full bio>>
What would Alexandre Edmond Becquerel be thinking now? In 1839, at the age of just 19, Becquerel built the world’s first photovoltaic panel, later inspiring the imaginations of millions of people worldwide, including legendary scientist Albert Einstein. Still, it took another 115 years before Bell Labs invented the first modern silicon solar cell. By comparison, it’s no stretch to say that the solar timeline has rocketed forward at warp speed in recent years.
With the coldest winter in two decades gripping much of the country this year – and wild price swings for natural gas rattling the markets, not to mention American consumers – it’s easy for many people to overlook the “hot start” in 2014 for solar energy.
But so far this year, it’s been good news followed by even more good news for the U.S. solar industry.
On January 24, 1974 – with Richard Nixon in the White House, but knee deep in the Watergate scandal – five people met in the noisy basement of the Washington Hilton to discuss the possibility of establishing an association for the nascent solar energy industry.
They agreed to create "a broad-based trade association supporting prompt, orderly, widespread and open growth of solar energy resources." This was the beginning of the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) four decades of successful advocacy.
Today, I was asked to take part in an online discussion on Capitol Hill as to whether Congress should extend renewable energy tax credits? Well, in some ways, this discussion is putting the cart before the horse. Most importantly, are incentives for renewable energy sources achieving their goals? In the case of solar, the answer is a resounding yes.
When it comes to renewable energy, you could call it the “shot heard round the world.” According to a new report by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the U.S. installed 930 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaics (PV) in Q3 2013, up 20 percent over Q2 2013 and 35 percent over Q3 2012. This represents the second largest quarter in the history of the U.S. solar market and the largest quarter ever for residential PV installations.
Even though they were overshadowed by the Senate’s historic decision to eliminate the use of the filibuster when it comes to most Presidential nominees – the so-called “nuclear option” – there were some major developments this week at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that are critically important to solar and renewable energy.
Next week’s global climate talks in Warsaw, Poland, need to be guided by a new sense of urgency. After more than 20 years of talking about climate change, it’s time for the nations of the world to start putting a meaningful plan in place to fight it.