WASHINGTON, DC – Did you know that solar energy in the United States is now generating enough electricity to power 2 million American homes, including the White House? Or that the payback on installing a home heating and cooling system (SHC) can be as little as four years? Would you be surprised to learn leading blue chip companies like Walmart, Apple, Costco, Kohl’s and IKEA are saving big bucks by installing rooftop solar? Or that just one utility-scale solar facility can power 170,000 homes?
Educating Americans about the benefits of clean, reliable and affordable solar energy is at the heart of a new social media campaign, America Supports Solar, which was launched today by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) in conjunction with National “Shout Out For Solar” Day and SEIA’s 40th anniversary as a national trade association. Moving forward, SEIA plans to use this platform as a way to showcase the industry’s innovations, continued growth and successes.
Supported by both leading businesses and environmental groups – including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Audubon Society, Environmental Defense Fund and the Climate Group – hundreds of thousands of people from across the United States and around the world are expected to take part in today’s “Shout Out For Solar” Day and roll out of the America Supports Solar website, which highlights solar energy’s extraordinary popularity and explosive growth across the United States. When all of the figures are in for 2013, solar – for the first time since the late 1980’s – is expected to account for more new electric capacity in the U.S. than any other source of renewable energy.
“This is a banner day for solar energy in America,” said Rhone Resch, SEIA president and CEO. “Today’s events, including the launch of our America Supports Solar website, captures that excitement in a big way. In recent years, our industry has created tens of thousands of new American jobs, pumped billions of dollars into the U.S. economy and helped to reduce pollution. We’re a true American success story.”
Today, there are nearly 120,000 workers employed by the U.S. solar industry at more than 6,000 companies nationwide. While 2013 was a record-breaking year, 2014 may be even better with 30 percent growth being forecast. Part of this unprecedented growth is due to the fact that the average price of a solar system has dropped by more than 50 percent since 2010, benefitting consumers, businesses, schools and government entities.
“In 2006, there were less than 600 megawatts of grid-connected solar in the United States. Right now, there’s an estimated 13,000 megawatts,” Resch continued. “Today, through an outpouring of support on social media, Americans nationwide are ‘shouting out’ this success story on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, proving that the real power of solar is the millions of people who support it.”
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2014, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to champion the use of clean, affordable solar in America by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.