Joy Hughes was living in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, a place with a “tremendous amount of solar potential,” so good that the valley’s residents were being overwhelmed by proposals for large-scale solar power plants. One had a “field of things like radar dishes” and another included a “600 foot tower.” The influx of outside companies seeking solar profit led Joy to ask, “Why not just set up solar arrays that can provide power for people in the local community and offset their electric bills?”
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A solar-energy group is offering a plan to resolve a trade dispute between the U.S. and China, saying import duties currently in place are crippling the industry in both nations.
With no end in sight to the ongoing solar trade dispute between the United States and China, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is offering an industry compromise between the U.S. and Chinese solar industries, which could serve as the centerpiece for a fair, negotiated settlement of outstanding issues, benefit end users, and encourage the proliferation of solar energy in the United States and globally.
Old ideas die hard. The country has been debating renewable energy for decades—how much we should support it, what place it should have in our energy policy, how big an impact it actually has.
If you ask Solar Decathlon director Richard King why the average person might want to swing by the U.S. Department of Energy's biennial competition when it opens in 12 days, he answers with a question of his own:
"Where else can you see 20 houses so inspiring, side by side?"
Michigan is playing host to a major battle over renewable energy this fall. On one side are clean energy proponents promoting a ballot initiative that would increase the state’s renewable electricity targets to 25 percent by 2025. On the other side are large coal-dependent utilities fighting to prevent any new increases.
Great Falls High decided to expand their science solar project after the first installation of two solar panels went so well. Now there are 72 solar panels on the roof of south campus, helping to power the entire building.
The array of solar panels all facing south give the appearance of a shimmering lake. And by late December, the 300,000 solar panels, each roughly the size of a 46-inch flat screen television near the Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown off Roxbury Road, are expected to generate a peak of 20 megawatts of power per hour.
Clean energy has become a dirty word in presidential politics. In their second debate, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama each tried to outdo the other’s love of fossil fuels: Obama extolling his record on oil and natural gas production, Romney vowing to take “advantage of the oil and coal we have here.” The Republican candidate has ridiculed the administration’s $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra, the bankrupt California-based solar panel maker, and accused Obama of living “in an imaginary world where government-subsidized windmills and solar panels could power the economy.”
WHEN the city of Brea, Calif., about 25 miles southeast of Los Angeles, set out to reduce its carbon emissions and save money on energy costs, the challenge was the same faced by many other cities nationwide: allocating the funds to pay for the program.