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Obama Signs Economic Recovery Legislation; Solar Industry Poised to Create 110,000 Jobs over Next Two Years

Obama Visit to Colorado is Fitting, Highlights How the Right Policies Can Drive Investment, Growth in Solar Industry

WASHINGTON, DC - Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) President & CEO Rhone Resch today commended President Obama for signing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law in Denver, Colorado and commented on how it will help stimulate the solar industry immediately.

"I applaud President Obama for his leadership in crafting an economic recovery bill that will put the country back on track as the economic leader of the world. It is fitting that he has decided to sign the bill into law in a state-of-the-art building, powered by solar energy," said Resch. "This building is an example of what is happening throughout the U.S.; small businesses installing cutting-edge solar technology funded by local nonprofit project finance resulting in huge taxpayer benefits."

"The solar industry is poised to lead the new, clean energy economy and the strong solar provisions in this legislation will help give hundreds of thousands of out-of-work Americans a job that they can be proud of. The solar energy provisions in this bill will help create 60,000 jobs in the solar industry in 2009 alone and a total of 110,000 over the next two years," said Resch.

"But this stimulus bill alone won't sustain the clean energy economy that is our future. We encourage Congress and the Obama Administration to implement long term policies that will make clean solar energy available to every American," said Resch. "We need policies like a national renewable portfolio standard with specific mandates for solar, investment in our transmission infrastructure and a way to address climate change that gives credit to clean sources like solar and reinvests proceeds to increase solar installation."

President Obama and Vice-President Biden demonstrated their confidence in the solar jobs engine by visiting the solar installation at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science today before signing the economic recovery legislation. They were joined by representatives from Namaste Solar Electric, Inc, a Colorado-based employee-owned solar electric company and the Partnership for Sustainability. The 100-kilowatt system, the largest of its kind in Colorado, was financed by no-interest revolving loans from the Partnership for Sustainability, a local non-profit dedicated to supporting solar energy installation.

Namaste Solar, which installed the solar panels on the museum's rooftop, is an example of how government policies can create the next generation of small businesses in the U.S. With offices in Denver and Boulder, Namaste has grown from 3 to 60 employees in the last three years and is anticipating growth of 20 to 40 percent in the next two years.

"With today's signing of the economic stimulus bill by President Obama, Namaste and solar companies like ours are ready to create jobs in Colorado and across the country. We are ready to put our economy back on track," said Eriks Brolis, Director of External Affairs for Namaste.

"This will help empower small businesses around the United States to organize their residents to retrofit homes with energy efficiency and renewable energy devices," added Brolis.

There are more than 3,400 solar energy companies, from manufacturers to installers, across the nation in every state. Colorado is home to more than 190 such companies and expects to gain 14,000 permanent jobs from the solar energy industry by 2016.

"Colorado is a great example of how solar energy can work in all 50 states. By enacting a strong renewable portfolio standard with a specific mandate for solar, Colorado has created model policies that Congress should enact nationally to grow the economy and create jobs," added Resch.

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