An idea is like a tiny seed. When planted in a creative mind and adequately fed, it takes root and flourishes. Like a seed, successfully deploying high-impact, cost-effective solar technologies requires a strong support system to facilitate its growth.
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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.
Today, the California Public Utilities Commission passed on a vote of 5-0 a new rule regarding net metering, primarily to clarify calculation of the state’s five-percent net metering cap. Net metering allows customers to earn credit for excess solar electricity they produce that is distributed to other customers on the grid. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) worked with members and stakeholders as part of the Coalition for Solar Rights asking for CPUC review of the calculation of the cap that is expected to be reached as soon as early next year by some utilities.
Today, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed into law the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard for Solar Energy and Solar Water Heating Systems bill (Senate Bill 791 and House Bill 1187), which accelerates the target date for achieving the state's renewable portfolio standard two-percent solar carve-out by two years and ensures the industry maintains positive, year over year job growth.
Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the national trade association representing companies across the solar value chain, released the following statement in the wake of today's decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce to impose additional duties on solar cells and modules imported into the United States from China:
Univ. of Tennessee Baker Center study shows solar energy following similar growth path to mainstream usage as traditional energy sources, supported by smart federal policies similar to those that subsidize coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear energy.
WASHINGTON - Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), released the following statement today in response to news that First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) is restructuring its operations to reflect market conditions. The restructuring includes scaling back manufacturing operations in Europe and Malaysia and reducing its global workforce by 2,000 employees, including about 120 employees in the U.S.:
Albany lawmakers are on the verge of passing solar legislation that promises to allow New Yorkers to lower their energy bills, deliver billions of dollars in economic investment, create thousands of new local job opportunities, modernize New York's aging power infrastructure, and ensure a reliable clean energy supply in the state for generations to come. There's strong bipartisan support for this bill, but precious little time remains on the state legislative calendar to enact the New York Solar Bill before lawmakers adjourn for the summer. So they must act fast.
A goal of mine in writing for Forbes.com on energy issues is to point out intriguing business models, trends, and new concepts that may change the way we think about energy-related issues. Lately, I’ve been focused on dramatic changes in solar models and economics. Things have really changed in a very short timeframe, as the following story illustrates.
David Crane, CEO and president, NRG Energy (NRG)
“With the cost of solar panels now just 10 percent of what they were five years ago, how do we streamline the local approval process and reduce the friction costs so that U.S. homeowners can realize the solar value of their property while paying less for their electricity?”
Utility power plants are many things—sprawling, expensive, often polluting—but one thing they are not is beautiful. Power plants are the engines of modern society, but we’d rather they stay out of the way.
GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association released numbers this morning suggesting that the solar juggernaut is not slowing down. Consider this: in the first three months of the year, the U.S. installed 723 MW, just under half of all new generation capacity installed across the country, and the best first quarter yet for solar.