Every day, I talk to groups and reporters about the amazing growth of solar all across the United States. But for the past week, there has been more buzz than ever about America’s solar industry because of the decision by President Obama to install solar panels on the White House.
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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>>
August 14, 2003, was a dark day in U.S. history – in a lot of different ways.
It started off as a quiet Thursday. Then a single tree limb in Ohio came crashing down, touching off a power outage which cascaded across eight states and parts of Canada, leaving 50 million Americans in the Northeast in the dark. Commuters were stranded. Businesses closed. People sweltered in the heat. And the U.S. economy took a huge beating, losing an estimated $10 billion.
What is apparent during the time we've been here in Copenhagen representing the U.S. solar industry is that the renewable energy industry has become a force in the climate debate. No longer are we relying on the environmental community to carry our message (which they have done well in the past).
Across the country, people will start tuning in today to see how well they've done filling out their brackets for the NCAA basketball tournament. When it comes to making their picks for energy, three out of four Americans have solar going all the way in their bracket.
The end of a long winter and the welcomed start of spring bring the all-American sport back to life. The last season transitions to memory, baseball fans ponder the present condition of their teams and we all smile at the opportunity to go outside without a coat. Spring also brings another event, the release of SEIA's annual "U.S. Solar Year in Review".
It's that time of year when many Americans are just returning from a summer vacation. During their travels, most of those vacationers probably passed by some of the many solar projects, large and small, being installed across the country. However, they probably didn't know that while they were on holiday, smart policies were at work speeding up deployment of solar projects. From PV farms to solar water heating systems, solar is having a record growth year and is creating stable, well-paying American jobs.
Hola! Greetings from Cancun where I saw immediate differences in this year's global climate talks from the moment I stepped off the plane. Instead of cold, cloudy Copenhagen, I was greeted by warm sunshine and a beautiful setting surrounded by the rich blue-green waters of the sea and bay. Last year I needed a parka; this year I need sunglasses. I'm hopeful improved weather is a good sign of an equally improved outcome. Delegates have a constant reminder (and distraction) to work through our shared challenges towards solutions.
Last year, while everyone was focused on a slow economic recovery, the U.S. solar energy boomed in all sectors -- residential, commercial property and utility-scale. And there are significant amounts of new solar energy coming with the advancement of several utility-scale projects.
You ever play that game Whac-a-Mole? That's kind of how I've felt over the last few months when separating fact from fiction about the solar energy industry in the U.S. We keep knocking down myths about solar, but they just keep popping up somewhere else.
Walmart and Costco are famous for cutting costs to the bone and knowing a great value when they see one. That's why they are deploying massive amounts of solar on their facilities. In fact, they are America's top two corporate users of solar power.