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CHICAGO, IL -- Speaking at the opening session of Solar Power International 2013 -- the largest solar trade show in America -- Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association delivered the following remarks:
Good afternoon everyone. Welcome to Chicago. Welcome to SPI 2013. And welcome to the Big Leagues.
Homeowners across the United States have begun a rooftop solar revolution. Since 2000, more than 1,460 megawatts of residential solar installations have been installed across the country, and more than 80 percent of that capacity was added in the past four years. In 2012 alone, rooftop solar installations reached 488 megawatts, a 62 percent increase over 2011 installations and nearly double the installed capacity added in 2010.
The media has recently been full of stories about electric utilities being nervous and down right reactionary to adding solar (and wind) on the electric grid. On October 15th, The Huffington Post’s story on the Hawaii Electric Company (HECO) reported, “hundreds of Oahu customers have gotten burned in their transition to solar. They have gotten caught in limbo since September 6 when HECO changed the rules for connecting solar systems.”
In northern New Mexico the sun shines nearly every day of the year. If solar energy is going to be viable anywhere, it will be here—and a small electric cooperative in historic Taos is taking advantage of it. In addition to supporting new solar projects in its service area, Kit Carson Electric Cooperative is offering its customers the opportunity to buy solar energy from “plots” in a “garden” of solar power generation.
The aisles of a typical Walgreens drugstore are stacked with products promoting their green attributes, whether they are towels made from recycled paper or makeup brushes made from fast-growing grass. But increasingly, on the roof, a less visible green endeavor is under way, in the form of solar panels feeding power to the store.
A solar industry group announced this week that the U.S. is on track to install as much photovoltaic solar power this year as we did in the last decade. But the media's myopic focus on Solyndra has overshadowed promising signs that the U.S. could be headed towards a clean energy revolution if we provide clear, long-term incentives, rather than walking away after one company's demise.
A coalition of Wisconsin firms involved in the solar power and solar hot water industry are joining together to market the state at the solar sector’s major annual conference.
Renewable energy enthusiasts concerned about damage to habitat from renewable energy development have been saying for a few years that there's plenty of disturbed and damaged land on which we could be building our solar and wind facilities instead. And now, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is backing them up.
McCoy, who lives in rural southeastern Ohio, boasts that his eight-panel solar array will pay for itself in three years through savings on his electric bill.