ASHINGTON, DC - The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA(R)) and the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA) today announced a formalized partnership to coordinate the resources of both organizations and promote the growth of California's solar energy market.
"California's solar market continues to thrive, even in a down economy, thanks largely to the relentless legislative efforts of CALSEIA and SEIA over the past three decades. Solar continues to be an engine for California job growth while leading the charge towards a cleaner, greener environment for everyone," said Gary Gerber, CALSEIA Board President.
"For the past 35 years, CALSEIA and SEIA have shared a common goal: expanding markets for all solar energy technologies. We are excited to coordinate our two organizations' efforts because we believe that we can accomplish more for California's solar market by working together," said Mignon Marks, Executive Director of CALSEIA.
"California continues to be the bellwether of the U.S. solar industry and our partnership with CALSEIA only strengthens our efforts to promote solar energy and create jobs on the state and national level," said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. "California's combination of world-class solar resources, a well-developed solar market and workforce, and aggressive in-state renewable energy generation goals makes this new partnership all the more important. I look forward to working closely with CALSEIA leaders to help grow the solar industry in California and across the country."
Today, solar energy is the fastest growing energy technology in the United States. The U.S. solar market grew to a $6 billion industry in 2010, up 67 percent from $3.6 billion in 2009. Solar electric installations reached 956 megawatts (MW), more than double the installations from 2009 and enough to power 200,000 homes.
The California solar market leads the U.S. in nearly every category. In 2010, there were 35,000 Californians working for more than 1,100 solar energy companies. The state added 112 MW in the first quarter of 2011, bringing California's installed solar electric capacity to 1,448 MW. That's enough to power almost 300,000 homes.
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA and its 1,000 member companies are building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy.
CALSEIA represents more than 200 companies doing solar-related business in California, including manufacturers, distributors, installation contractors, consultants, and educators. Members' annual dues support professional staff and a lobbyist who represent the common interests of California's solar industry at the Legislature, Governor's Office, and state and local agencies. CALSEIA's accomplishments since the 1970's include passage of the Solar Rights Act, Solar Shade Control Act, a property tax exclusion for solar energy systems, and a feed-in tariff. CALSEIA also works on the following on-going issues: long-term system performance; safety and reliability; fair competition and opportunities for all companies and technology types; and maintaining positive public attitudes about California's solar industry through training on ethical sales practices and consumer education.